Wolf Kahn, German (1927 - )
Born in Stuttgart in 1927, Wolf Kahn fled Germany at age 12 and moved to the United States in 1940. After attending the High School of Music and Art in New York City, he continued his studies at the Hans Hofmann School, becoming Hofmann’s studio assistant. His native tongue was often an advantage in Hofmann’s classroom, as he frequently translated the teachers’ signature mix of German and English for his fellow students. After over two years of training under Hofmann, Kahn later relocated to Chicago where he received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Chicago.
Kahn met a young artist named Emily Mason in 1956. They married one year later. Mason is also a painter. She is represented by David Findlay Gallery in New York City and LewAllen Galleries in Santa Fe, NM. They have two daughters, Cecily and Melany.
Influenced by Hofmann’s practice of using nature as the starting point for a painting, Kahn’s work encompasses both pictorial landscape and painterly abstraction. Converging color and light to create atmospheric and sensual pictorial fields, his paintings evoke the ethereal world of nature even when they are non-representational.Although they are a departure in temperament from Hofmann’s “explosive” compositions, Kahn’s paintings incorporate many of Hofmann’s principles of chromatic tension and movement. Often juxtaposing saturated magentas, pinks and oranges with cool, muted pastels, Kahn achieves a balance that transports the viewer into his tranquil world.
Kahn has received honors such as the Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His works are in the permanent collections of major museums, including the National Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He recently returned to Germany for the first time since his childhood for an exhibition of his pastels at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.
Wolf Kahn's 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 regularly exhibits at galleries and museums across North America.