Aug 21

Great Artists: Wolf Kahn

[All art by Wolf Kahn, Wolf Kahn Foundation; INSPIRED BY THIS ARTIST? Post to the Great Artists challenge here!]
WOLF KAHN – Wolf Kahn (1927-2020) was a master painter of brilliantly colorful and dreamy landscapes, many inspired by his summers and falls spent in southern Vermont. Kahn and his wife Emily Mason, also a renowned artist, divided their time between New York City and their hillside farm in West Brattleboro, VT for many years.

“Wolf Kahn is to southern Vermont what Winslow Homer is to the coast of Maine, Georgia O’Keeffe to the New Mexico high desert and Claude Monet to the French countryside,” said Brattleboro Museum and Art Center director Danny Lichtenfeld.*

Of the vibrant colors in his oil and pastel paintings, Kahn was quoted as saying, "I want the color to be surprising to people without being offensive. By offensive, I mean something that makes the teeth grind. I like shock effect, but shock that settles into a harmonious whole.”*

Kahn was born in Germany in 1927, the son of Stuttgart Philharmonic conductor Emil Kahn and Nellie Budge. After the death of his mother, he spent much of his childhood in the care of his grandmother, Anna Kahn. When he was 11, she helped him flee Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport to England. She did not survive the Holocaust herself. Kahn eventually settled in the United States, where he completed high school and enrolled in the Navy. Following his service, he studied with the influential artist and teacher Hans Hofmann, who had also emigrated from Germany. In 1957, Kahn married Mason, an artist of colorful abstract paintings. They had two daughters, Cecily and Melany, and a life partnership of 62 years until Emily's death in December 2019, just three months before his passing. Kahn’s award-winning art has been exhibited at galleries and museums throughout North America.

Inspired by Wolf Kahn's art? Respond to the Great Artists Challenge here.


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