Wolf Kahn is one of the most important colorists working in America today. Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927, Wolf Kahn immigrated to the United States by way of England in 1940. In 1945 he graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York after which he spent time in the Navy. Under the GI Bill he studied with the well-known teacher and abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann, becoming Hofmann’s studio assistant. In 1950 he enrolled in the University of Chicago from which he graduated in 1951 with a BA.
Having completed his baccalaureate degree in only one year, Kahn was determined to become a professional artist. He and other former Hofmann students established The Hansa, a cooperative gallery where he had his first one man show. In 1956 he joined the Grace Borgenicht Gallery where he exhibited regularly until 1995. Mr. Kahn has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a member of the National Academy of Design, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has recently completed an appointment to the New York City Art Commission. Traveling extensively, he has painted landscapes in such diverse locales as Maine, Mexico, Italy, Greece, Kenya, New Mexico, Hawaii and Egypt. He spends his summers and autumns in Vermont on a hillside farm, which he and his wife, the painter Emily Mason, have owned since 1968. They have two daughters, Cecily and Melany. Cecily Kahn is a painter, married to the painter David Kapp.
The unique blend of Realism and the formal discipline of Color Field painting sets the work of Wolf Kahn apart. Kahn is an artist who embodies the synthesis of his modern abstract training with Hans Hofmann, with the palette of Matisse, Rothko’s sweeping bands of color, and the atmospheric qualities of American Impressionism. It is precisely this fusion of color, spontaneity and representation that has produced such a rich and expressive body of work. Wolf Kahn exhibits regularly at galleries and museums across North America. Selected museum collections include: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
*Harry N. Abrams, Inc., published a comprehensive monograph on his work in September 1996 (2nd edition in 1997, 3rd edition in 1998), a book on Wolf Kahn pastels in 2000, and they also published a third book entitled Wolf Kahn’s America: A Painter’s Journey, in the Fall of 2003.
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