Wolf Kahn. German/American, born 1927

I have never found color theory to be of the slightest use to me in painting. It is far too abstract. It is much more useful to me to see a concrete event which I find unusual: a very dark cloud rising behind the yellow green trees on the Connecticut River, the red earth of North Carolina against the grays of Winston Salem in winter... Seeing a coloristic event intensely, even if briefly, is all the information I need. Celebrating the unusual by translating it into the usual colors, that's a stretch; or one can go in the opposite direction by celebrating the usual through turning it into unusual color.

("More on Color," Wolf Kahn: Celebrating Color, NY: Grace Borgenicht Gallery, 1995)

Artist Statement

I am a painter, what I care about is what colors do to each other and what brush strokes do to each other or what edges do to some things which have nothing to do with being a landscape painter or still life painter. I paint what I am best like.

- Wolf Kahn



born 1927 Stuttgart, Germany

1945 Graduated from High School of Music & Art, New York
1951 University of Chicago, BA

public collections
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
Los Angeles County Museum, CA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of American Art, Smithsonian, Washington DC
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
and many more

The New York Sun, July 2012
By Franklin Einspruch

One usually associates the name of Wolf Kahn with New England landscapes, but his economically painterly treatment suits the urban fabric as ably. Ameringer McEnery Yohe has put together a show of his New York images to prove it.

"The City as Landscape offers a glimpse into Wolf Kahn's New York," says the gallery. "In the city of New York and in the woods of Vermont, Kahn has spent his life rendering the essence of the landscape of the places he calls home. Kahn captures his New York experience and shares this imagery with us in the mediums of oil and pastel, where skyscrapers and buildings dominate the skyline rather than trees. He presents the landscapes and the landmarks of the city as seen from the windows of his studio and viewed while perusing his neighborhood on daily walks. In these particular works, Kahn conjures the beauty, charm and grandeur of New York."

"I owe a great debt to the Impressionists, but an equal one to early American modernists," says Kahn. "The breadth of these influences may be due to my European origins. However, inspiration comes even more from the changes in seasons, the hours in the day, and one's available enthusiasm."

Wolf Kahn Pastels. by Wolf Kahn, Harry N.Abrams, New York, NY

Wolf Kahn by Justin Spring, essay by Karen Wilkin1994

Wolf Kahn: Landscape Painter, by Martica Sawin, Taplinger Publihsing Company

Wolf Kahn's America, by Wolf Kahn, Harry N Abrams

Wolf Kahn's America: An Artist's Travels, by Wolf Kahn, introduction by John Updike

for further reading see http://www.wolfkahn.com/publications

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