philadelphia

Wolf Kahn

Grace Borgenicht Gallery

“Things to ignore” Wolf Kahn once wrote, “The fads of the moment.” This landscape painter for more than 20 years apparently refers to ephemeral artistic conceits and ideologies of the city, without interest in distinguishing these from more lasting ideas, or basic accomplishments, equally irrelevant to his interests. In Kahn’s work, whether oil or pastel, an atavistic mind holds on, cultivating its episodes of private observation, the quaint, quietist individual reflexes and moods drawn in through the artist’s lone eyes before nature, and later rendered complete in the studio. There are hundreds of painters who have chosen these bosky meadows and massed them with stumbled surfaces, but more nostalgically than he, and more recently. Modesty becomes these humdrum poets of escape, for the out-of-doors is not only a subject of refuge for them, but an alibi for sentimentality.

It would not

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