New York

Wolf Kahn

Borgenicht Gallery

Wolf Kahn, working in an Impressionist style, takes a disinterested attitude toward specificity of his subject. He is more interested in painterly means than either Bruder or Midgette. Some of his country barn and house paintings are practically abstract, having been blurred out of focus. This is especially true of the gray, fog-enshrouded earlier landscapes. Kahn aligns barn edges with the picture edge, eliminates detail, and uses strong compositional thrusts in many of his paintings; these formal devices save the paintings from banality. The painterliness of his impasto operates to advantage in the gray atmospheric paintings, but some of the recent versions in garish tube colors—magenta and red—seem too harsh for such a sensibility.

At this point in time it is understandable, perhaps, that urban-oriented, sophisticated artists should yearn for other times, other places. Kahn, along with Fairfield Porter and others, are involved in rural nostalgia while Bruder reimagines the golden age of Classicism and Midgette plays with the mechanics of trompe-l’oeil.

––April Kingsley