Scott Indrisek profiles painter Wolf Kahn on the occasion of the exhibition Wolf Kahn: Six Decades at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York, on view through May 31, 2014.
Indrisek notes: "Even though Kahn has been working within a fairly narrow choice of subject matter — forests, trees, barns, lakes, fields, skies — he seems to think that this is the least important part of the picture, or at least secondary to color. And there’s variation within these confines: some paintings are alive with a sort of internal fire, all rich pinks and oranges; others are murkier, abstract planes. Occasionally Kahn breaks up land, trees, and sky into Rothko-esque blocks of color. The artist veers between fairly naturalistic paintings and ones that take extravagant liberties with landscape. 'I like to paint artificial colors that look like they’re out of nature,' he said. 'I don’t care whether they could be or not, I like the feeling that you have a sense that you’ve been there… What I’m trying to do is to make a place that still looks like a landscape and at the same time doesn’t make you think of a particular place,' he said. 'It makes you think of a texture, or relation of colors. But I’m not willing to give up the idea that underneath all of that, there’s objects.' ”