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Connecticut River
Wolf Kahn
Connecticut River
1981 | pastel on paper |11.5 x 17 | $12000

A modern gem, Wolf Kahn (1927-2020) was a German-American artist known for his energetic Color Field landscapes. He fled to the United States in 1940 as a Jewish refugee, and despite the trauma of his childhood, began laying stones for a successful career as an artist. His influence working underneath Hans Hoffman is apparent in his work, another renowned German-American painter, and friend to the Abstract Expressionists who were leading modern art in the United States at the time. The color field landscapes of Wolf Kahn have stood firm among all that jazz with a distinct, sophisticated character and quality.

Wolf Kahn’s approach to the formal discipline evokes a unique and inventive adaptation to the style by merging it with Realism. Through abstracting landscape in both figure and color, Kahn’s works balance gestures with linearity. Don’t we all like a deviant artist? Though more muted in tone than most of his works, Connecticut River still represents Kahn’s integrated approach. Rather than responding to the landscape with color, Kahn allowed color to lead the landscape. Using pastels, the selected colors dictate the shape and form of the composition.

Separated from his home roots, Kahn’s landscape practice grounded him throughout his life. He believed that nature, for the most part, is unchanging, providing solidity and respite. Kahn’s work has been exhibited at the Met, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and even David Lusk Gallery Nashville. He passed away recently on March 15th, 2020 at the age of 92. We are deeply grateful for the extraordinary opportunity to have witnessed a modern master in the flesh and canvas.

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