MILES MCENERY GALLERY is delighted to present an exhibition of works by Wolf Kahn, on view 14 March through 13 April at 525 West 22nd Street. A public reception will be held for the artist on Thursday 14 March from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring an essay by Martica Sawin.
Including paintings dating from the 1960s as well as a selection of recentworks, this exhibition illustrates the evolution of Wolf Kahn’s prolific career and his continuing exploration of the relationships between color and form. Kahn’s earlier, more densely painted canvases often feature darker, tonal hues, while his works from the late ‘60s represent a transition to an increasingly vivid palette. Illuminated by brilliant bands of color, his vigorously painted landscapes possess a captivating rhythm and alluring vibrancy. By juxtaposing bolds tones with the muted shades of the natural world, Kahn produces a kind of contrast that energizes the surface of the canvas while simultaneously creating a sense of balance. After decades of painting, Kahn’s masterful use of color remains his primary subject.
While Kahn’s subject matter remains rooted in reality, his abstract methods of representation reveal a unique dynamic between representational painting and abstract principles. As Martica Sawin suggests, “The significance of his contribution to the panorama of contemporary American art lies in the way his works preservecertain values of modernism, pay homage to the nature that surrounds us, embody the highest level of painterly performance, and take cognizance of changing ways of thinking about and producing art, while not letting go of what has gone before.”
Kahn works intuitively, letting the painting guide his next movements. With over 70 years of experience, he continues to challenge himself, painting nearly everyday, and his work remains ever evolving. “I have to keep my innocence of spirit,” Kahn says. “You have to allow for failure. If you can’t grow at 91, when can you grow? I’m striving for the moment where the painting starts giving me a hard time.”