Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wolf Kahn: the World in Color

Wolf Kahn fled from Germany in 1939 at the age of 12 and, he once said, "Most of the rest of my life has been devoted to trying to forget that I am a Jew." He pursued this goal by becoming the world's sunniest serious landscape painter. While the rest of the postwar art world delved into the dark subconscious or flirted with mock commercialism, Kahn found solace in nature and expressed the strength he found there in brilliant color. Above, Brilliant Landscape (1991), one of his many pastel on paper works.

When he was depressed, in the late 50s, Kahn spent a year working as a lumberjack, and though he has lived much of his life in New York, he regularly returns to the country. These days he owns a farm near Brattleboro, Vermont. Barns and Forsythia III (2003)

Dark Fog Bank Out There (1994)

Bright Winter Day (1981), pastel

Radiance (1994)

In recent years his colors have gotten ever brighter as the details of the landscape get sketchier. July in Vermont (2012).

Last Glow (2012). I like a lot of Kahn's paintings, but I find that I prefer the pastels, especially this one and the one at the top. Kahn is still working very productively in his 80s, and so is his wife, painter Emily Mason. May they keep painting for many years more!


Casey Klahn said...

This one is on a lot of web sites, but I can't find the title. The colors are certainly amazing ~ you wrote.

Hi! This is my pastel drawn as an after Wolf Kahn, or as a copy ( I can't recall, since it is from about 2006). It is embarrassing to see it all over the net attributed as a WK, but that is because of the way bing and pinterest grab so many images.

Here is where I posted it:

All my best to you,


John said...

Thanks for that. I took the picture out, but I still like it as much as anything by Kahn.