Spring: Wolf Kahn

  Silver Birches in Spring oil on canvas 24" x 28" 2006

Slight Pink Nuances oil on canvas  52" x 52" 2008

Green Landscape with Greenhouses oil on canvas 64" x 84" 2012

Many Wolf Kahn's paintings have the freshly uncorked quality of an early spring day, with popping yellows and pale greens balanced by cool lavender tones. His titles rarely give specifics on the location or season of a landscape, but instead remind us of his true subject, which is color and mood.

Kahn is well loved 
(has anyone out there never encountered a Wolf Kahn calendar?)
for his unique blend of color, spontaneity and realism , but there can be a quiet menace in some of his shadowed barns and darkening woods. Kahn stated that his goal was to paint "(Mark) Rothko over again from nature". Amazing, isn't this? Rothko, the master of ominous mood, a major influence on the lyrical landscapes of Wolf Kahn! 

In 1939 Wolf Kahn escaped Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport, and made his way to New York in 1940, when he was 13 years old. In 1947 he enrolled at the Hans Hoffman school of art, becoming Hoffman's personal assistant.  

Here are a few interesting Wolf Kahn quotes:
I fill the spaces with strong color or heavy pigment,
which brings the background spaces foreward again,
causing the near trees to appear to recede.
To do advanced work, one needs the support
of an ordered, burgeois existence.
Storms, fogs, rain showers temporarily unify the sky
with the ground.
For an artist it can often be said that when he's looking, he's working.
Impressionists had the idea that painting was like knotting a rug.

The month of March will be dedicated to the season of spring. Have some favorite paintings of spring by other artists you'd like to share? Please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year.


  1. OMG..Great Post..Thank you
    Wolf Kahn's work is so wonderful... He has been a great model for me and so many others...He broke a mold

  2. I just love these paintings! Wolf Kahn has been a long time favorite! Thank you for the reminder of his beautiful colors, and brilliant painting!


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