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Wolf Kahn Biography
Wolf Kahn is a German-born American painter born on 4th October 1927 in Stuttgart, Germany. He is known for his combination of Realism and Color Field, works in pastel and oil paint.
Kahn has stated that he began drawing at the age of four and during the summer of his 11th birthday, in 1937, his mother signed him up for private art lessons with Miss von Joeden. He was inspired by military pageantry, Napoleonic Wars and prominent historical figures including Adolph Menzel and Frederick the Great.
At the age of 12, in 1939, his grandmother arranged for him to leave Germany for England to live with a host family, first with the John Wade family and then with the Purvis Family. In 1940 at the age of 13 he was able to reunite with his family in New York City as quotas for immigrant applications in the United States changed.
Wolf Kahn Age
Wolf was born on 4th October 1927 in Stuttgart,Germany (91 years as of 2018)
Wolf Kahn Family
Kahn was born to Emil and Nellie Budge Kahn as their fourth child. His father was a musician, composer, conductor, and teacher. He lost his appointment with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993 when Hitler came to power and there was an increase in antisemitism sweeping Germany. He left Germany for the United States with his second wife and Kahn’s three siblings. Kahn was sent to live with his grandmother, Anna Kahn, in Frankfurt, Germany, at the age of three.Wolf Kahn
Wolf Kahn Wife
In 1957 Wolf married Emily Mason, who is also an an American abstract painter known for her work in color field painting and lyrical abstraction.
Wolf Kahn Children
Khan and Emily have two daughters, Cecily and Melany. Cecily Khan is also an artist and is married to painter David Kapp.
Wolf Kahn Education
Kahn was accepted for his sophomore year at the High School of Music and Art in New York City in 1942 graduating in 1945. He joined the Navy for one year at the time of the GI Bill and studied with renowned teacher and Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hoffman and with time he became Hofmann’s studio assistant. In 1950 he joined the University of Chicagoan graduating in 1951.
Wolf Kahn Career
Kahn together with other former Hofmann students established the Hansa Gallery, a cooperative gallery where Kahn had his first solo exhibition. He later joined the Grace Borgenicht Gallery in 1956 where he exhibited regularly until 1995. He received a Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the Academy of Arts and Letters.
Having traveled extensively, he has painted landscapes in Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, Maine, Mexico, and New Mexico. In summers and autumns khan spent his time in Vermont on a hillside farm, which he and his wife, the painter Emily Mason,
The uniqueness blending of Realism and formal discipline of Color Field painting sets his work apart. He is an artist who embodies a synthesis of artistic traits – the modern abstract training of Hans Hofmann, the palette of Matisse, Rothko’s sweeping bands of color, and the atmospheric qualities of American Impressionism. The link of color, spontaneity and representation has produced a rich and expressive body of work.
Wolf Kahn Paintings
Kahn paintings have a unique blend of Realism and formal discipline of Color Field painting. He embodies a synthesis of artistic traits – the modern abstract training of Hans Hofmann, the palette of Matisse, Rothko’s sweeping bands of color, and the atmospheric qualities of American Impressionism. The fusion of color, spontaneity and representation has produced a rich and expressive body of work.
Having traveled extensively he has painted landscapes in Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Italy, Kenya, Maine, Mexico, and New Mexico.
In the late 1960s, Kahn began his signature landscapes which are grounded in the ethos of his Vermont farm: weathered barns and undulating pastures and tree lines, revealing a spare yet evocative New England aesthetic.
His work attempts to harness the energy of the human-nature interaction and prefers not to overthink the psychological meaning of his paintings. “I think the more you concentrate on factors other than emotional content in your paintings, the better off you are,” he has said. “Nature and the artist’s feelings are merely the raw materials.”
Wolf Kahn Museum Collections
His work can be found in numerous museum collections including:
- Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
- Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
- Colby College Museum of Art
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
- Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA
- National Academy Museum, New York, NY
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
- Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Wolf Kahn Exhibitions
He regularly exhibits at galleries and museums across North America.
Re-fractions of Light, Paintings and Pastels, Tayloepiggott Gallery, Jackson, USA (solo)
- Pastels, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, USA (solo)
- Paintings and Pastels, Addison/Ripley Fine Art, Washington, D.C. (solo)
- Toward The Larger View: A Painter’s Process, Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe , New York, USA (solo)
- Yosemite – Art of an American Icon, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, USA
- Sizing Up: Part II Pastels, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
- Celebrating 80 Years, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA (solo)
- Sizing Up: Part I Paintings – Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe , New York, USA (solo)
- Home Turf, Mulry Fine Art, West Palm Beach, USA
- Back to the Future: Contemporary American Art from the Collection, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, USA
- Color & Light – Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, USA (solo)
- Vision in Granite, The Banks Gallery, Portsmouth, USA
- The John and Mary Lou Paxton Collection, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, USA
- Wolf Kahn’s Barns, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, USA (solo)
- Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe , New York, USA (solo)
- Summertime Pastels, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA (solo)
- Modern and Contemporary Works on Paper, Forum Gallery – Los Angeles, USA
- The Monoprint in Three Directions, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA
- Art In The New Us Embassy In Bulgaria, Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Wolf Kahn’s America An Artist’s Travels, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA
- Continuity & Change, Paintings and Works on Paper 1958 – 66, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, USA (solo)
- Wolf Kahn at Seventy-Five, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA (solo)
- Invited! Works on Paper – First Street Gallery, New York, USA
- Fifty Years of Pastels – Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA
- Southern Landscapes, Morris Museum of Art Augusta, USA (solo)
- Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection fr. National Museum, The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, USA
- Boca Raton Museum of Art Boca Raton, USA
- Rediscovering the Landscapes of the Americas, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, USA (traveled)
Wolf Kahn Publications
- 2015, McAgee, William C. Wolf Kahn. (New York)
- 2013, Kahn, Wolf, and Nicholas Delbanco. Wolf Kahn. (New York)
- 2011, Spring, Justin, Karen Wilkin, and Louis Finkelstein. Wolf Kahn. (New York: Abrams)
- 2010, Kahn, Wolf, and Chrinstina Kee. Wolf Kahn: Color & Consequence. (New York)
- 2010, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn. (Montreal: Galerie De Bellefeuille,)
- 2007, Kahn, Wolf, and Karen Wilkin. Wolf Kahn: Sizing up. (New York, NY)
- 2004, Kahn, Wolf, and Elizabeth Frank. Wolf Kahn. (New York)
- 2003, Kahn, Wolf and John Updike, Wolf Kahn’s America: An Artist’s Travels. (New York: Abrams)
- 2002, Kahn, Wolf, and David Cohen. Wolf Kahn: March 8-27, 2002. (New York: Beadleston Gallery)
- 2002, Wolf Kahn. (New York: Beadleston Gallery)
- 1999, Gruber, Richard J., and Wolf Kahn. Wolf Kahn: Painting the South. (Augusta, GA: Morris Museum of Art)
- 1996, Spring, Justin, and Louis Finkelstein. Wolf Kahn. (New York: Harry N. Abrams)
- 1993, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn. (Naples, FL: Philharmonic Center for the Arts)
- 1993, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn. (Boston: Thomas Segal Gallery)
- 1991, Kahn, Wolf, and Robert P. Conway. Wolf Kahn. (New York: Associated American Artists)
- 1989, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn: New Work, 1987–1989. (New York: Grace Borgenicht Gallery)
- 1988, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn: New Landscapes. (Santa Fe, NM: Gerald Peters Gallery)
- 1987, Kahn, Wolf, and Cynthia Goodman. Wolf Kahn: Paintings. (New York: Gallery)
- 1983, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn: Landscapes. (San Diego: San Diego Museum of Art)
- 1980, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn. (London: The Galleries)
- 1971, Kahn, Wolf. Wolf Kahn. (New York: Grace Borgenicht Gallery)
Wolf Kahn Awards
He has has received different awards, like the recently he received an award initiated by the Art in This award was recently US Department of State program to acknowledge artists whose work has played an instrumental role in promoting creativity and understanding in support of American diplomacy. Wolf Khan other awards were as listed below.
- 2006, Lifetime Achievement Award, Wheaton College
- 2000, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, Wheaton College
- 1998, Lifetime Achievement Award, Vermont Council of the Arts
- 1979, Award in Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 1966, John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
- 1962, Fulbright Scholar