Wolf Kahn

American, 1927 - 2020
Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1927, Wolf Kahn's artistic journey unfolded as an immigrant to the United States via England in 1940. Graduating from the High School of Music & Art in New York in 1945, he subsequently served in the Navy. Leveraging the GI Bill, Kahn immersed himself in the teachings of the renowned Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, eventually becoming Hofmann's studio assistant.
In 1950, Kahn pursued higher education at the University of Chicago, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in just one year. Opting to return to full-time artistry, he, along with fellow Hofmann students, established the Hansa Gallery—a cooperative space that hosted Kahn's inaugural solo exhibition. Joining the Grace Borgenicht Gallery in 1956, he showcased his work regularly until 1995. Kahn's artistic contributions have garnered accolades, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the Academy of Arts and Letters.
His artistic pursuits have taken him across the globe, capturing landscapes in Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, Maine, Mexico, and New Mexico. While he spends summers and autumns on a Vermont hillside farm owned with his wife, painter Emily Mason, his primary residence is in New York City. The couple has two daughters, Cecily and Melany, with Cecily Kahn also establishing herself as an artist, married to the painter David Kapp.
Wolf Kahn's distinctive fusion of Realism and formal discipline drawn from Color Field painting sets his work apart. Synthesizing influences from Hans Hofmann's modern abstract training, Matisse's palette, Rothko's expansive color bands, and American Impressionism's atmospheric qualities, Kahn has created a rich and expressive body of work.
Regularly featured in galleries and museums across North America, Wolf Kahn's art graces collections at prestigious institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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