Wolf Kahn and his wife of 61 years, abstract artist Emily Mason, leave their New York home and studio every summer to live and work in their farmhouse and studios in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The couple bought the property, complete with 1900s farmhouse, in 1968 for $9,000 and, over the years have updated it, with a studio for each.
Though they are consummate New Yorkers, with Kahn teaching at Cooper Union for 17 years and Mason teaching at Hunter College for more than 30 years, it is the misty dawns and dusks and the rural setting that inspires Kahn.
The Brilliant Colors of Wolf Khan
Before moving to Vermont, Khan spent summers on Deer Island, along the coast of Maine, where the foggy conditions gave rise to tonal paintings like Fog Bank.
As Kahn’s technique evolved, he began to use more intense colors combined with powerful brushstrokes.
Becoming an American Icon
Last year, Wolf Kahn was awarded the U.S. State Department’s International Medal of Arts. The Smithsonian Art Collectors Program commissioned Kahn to produce a print to benefit the cultural and educational programs of the Smithsonian Associates. Kahn became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1980 and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1984. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for Marlboro College, in Marlboro, Vermont, and is an honorary trustee at the Brattleboro Museum in Brattleboro.
Kahn was born in Germany in 1927. His father was a well-known conductor with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra. The family had to leave Germany when Hitler came to power. Kahn emigrated to New York when he was thirteen. Khan’s artistic ability was recognized and encouraged when he was as young as four.
“I drew the orchestra at the botanical gardens in Frankfurt at the age of five,” Kahn said. “My father was the conductor. By the time I was 10, my painting teacher was a German aristocrat. She was a painter herself. The first thing she taught me to do correctly was to paint the fuzz on peaches. And ever since I’ve been painting equally far-out subjects.”
When he was fifteen, Kahn was accepted for his sophomore year at the High School of Music and Art. After graduation, Kahn spent a year in the Navy, then attended the New School, then Studied with Hans Hoffman, who was a major influence on his life and work. Kahn received a BA from the University of Chicago in 1949.
Wolf Kahn’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Met, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and other galleries and museums in North America.
Wolf Kahn Oil Paintings at Surovek Gallery
Please contact us for more information about Fog Bank, Magenta Cloud, Red Shed, Blue Sky, Two Farm Buildings and a Pond or any of the other paintings by Wolf Kahn available at Surovek Gallery.
Joyce Marcel. A fortunate Life: Morning Coffee with artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason. SO Vermont Arts & Living. Fall, 2017.
Hans Hoffmann.Hoffmann’s Legacy. Wolf Kahn-PBS. www.pbs.org