Wolf Kahn 1927-2020
As we write this post, it’s a balmy and beautiful 79-degree spring day in Palm Beach and a snowy, 39 degree day in Brattleboro, Vermont, where Kahn spent summers painting the beautiful scenery.
Though Kahn loved his time in Vermont, he said that he did his best work in his Manhattan studio.
Kahn died in 2020, at age 92, just three months after the death of Emily Mason, his wife of more than 60 years.
Next month, works from the couple’s private collection will be auctioned by Chiristie’s. Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason will feature Modern, Post-War and Contemporary paintings.
The collection includes works on paper, prints and sculptures, done by many of the artists with whom they admired and often befriended, like Richard Diebenkorn.
Proceeds will go to the Wolf Kahn/Emily Mason Foundation to support art education.
Robert Indiana 1928-2018
Robert Indiana’s work of LOVE was one of the most recognizable artworks of the twentieth century. The artist himself called it the 20th century’s “most plagiarized work of art.”
Indiana moved from New York to a Victorian five-story house in the island town of Vinalhaven, Maine, in 1978, where he lived a quiet, seclusive life, much like the early twentieth century American artist, Marsden Hartley.
Hartley was born in Maine in 1877, traveled extensively through Europe during his lifetime, and returned to Maine in 1937, at age 60. Indiana felt an intense kinship and admiration for the artist. In the 1990s, Indiana did a series of works, dedicated to Hartley called The Hartley Elegies. The Berlin Series, KVF l, part of The Hartley Elegies series, is an homage, not just to Hartley, but also to Karl von Freyburg, a young Prussian officer whose death was devastating to Hartley.
The Hartley Elegies. The Berlin Series, KVF l is currently on loan to the Farnsworth Art Museum as part of the exhibit Robert Indiana: The Hartley Elegies, which runs through January 2, 2022.
Picasso, done in 1974, is an homage to the Spanish artist, and incorporates Picasso’s middle name, Ruiz (which was also his father’s name) and the dates of his birth and death in the circular motif that Indiana incorporated in many of his works.
Since Robert Indiana’s death in 2018, his estate has been in litigation with a New York-based copyright holder. A settlement has recently been reached, the details have not been made public, but it has been reported that the settlement brings the estate a step closer to transforming Indiana’s home into a museum.
Fang Block. Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason. Barron’s. April 9, 2021.
Christie’s. Fields of Vision: The Private Collection of Artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason. April 2021.
Tony Bravo. Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Works on Paper, 1948-1992. San Francisco Chronicle. February 2021.
Taylor Dafoe. A Battle in the Legal War Over Robert Indiana’s Legacy Ends as His Estate Settles With the Artist’s Longtime Representative. artnet news. March 8, 2021.
Associated Press. Agreement could free Robert Indiana’s estate from lawsuit. March 5, 2021.
Village Soup.Knox. Farnsworth announces historic bequest of 27 major Wyeth works from Betsy Wyeth. April 16, 2021.