Wolf Kahn

born Stuttgart, Germany 1927-died New York City 2020
Stuttgart, Germany
New York, New York, United States
Active in
  • West Brattleboro, Vermont, United States

Kahn, who immigrated to the United States at age thirteen, studied with Stuart Davis (at the New School for Social Research) and with Hans Hofmann, and in 1951 he completed a B.A. at the University of Chicago. Back in New York in 1952, Kahn and several other Hofmann students organized the Hansa Gallery, a cooperative named for their teacher. Avoiding a specific aesthetic program, the Hansa artists, who numbered ten to fifteen members at a time, tended toward either painterly realism with expressionist overtones (Kahn and Alan Kaprow) or found-object constructivism (Richard Stankiewicz and John Chamberlain). In the 1960s the bright colors and energetic brushwork characteristic of Kahn's Hansa years gave way to muted tones, simplified compositions, and quiet paint handling. Kahn sees his landscapes as meditations on the world in which color relates light with subject, and in which horizons, nature's dividing lines, are seamless fusions between sky and land. The re-cipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim grants, Kahn has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, at the Cooper Union Art School, and at Dartmouth College.

Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)


Media - 1986.6.92 - SAAM-1986.6.92_3 - 135150
Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection
February 28, 2014August 16, 2014
Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection presents some of the most treasured artworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection, including works by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Arthur Dove, Na