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Inside the Art Studio of Wolf Kahn

A photo of the studio of late painter Wolf Kahn


Wolf Kahn was a German-born painter who moved to the United States in 1940, at the age of 13. During his early years Kahn studied under painter Hans Hofmann, briefly becoming a studio assistant for the artist. As a painter in his own right, Kahn became known for wildly colourful paintings that fused abstraction with figuration, driven by a sense of spontaneity and experimentation. 


Kahn’s studio looks almost staged in the above shot, taken from the artist’s personal website. Perhaps it’s the composition of the photo, but the way the studio is arranged also seems very balanced. I really enjoy the way the artist has positioned a wooden chair directly in front of the painting on the wall -- it looks equally like a spot to sit and work on the painting, and a spot to simply stare at a finished work. 


The space is expansive, with numerous finished or in-progress works stacked against the far left wall. The perspective of the photo makes it difficult to tell exactly how many paintings are stacked against the wall but the large number seems a testament to the late artist’s prolific art practice. 


In the foreground, Kahn’s work table is visible, absolutely covered in tubes of paint, brushes, and splatters of spilled paint. Kahn’s paintings are wildly colourful, and it’s easy to get an idea of the artist’s way of working, seeing all the paint colours that he had available at his fingertips.  


The artist passed away in 2020 at the age of 92. His works can still be seen in collections throughout North America, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other cities.

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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