Wolf Kahn (1927-2020)
Million Dollar Barn, 2007
Pastel on paper
12 x 18 inches
Framed Dimensions: 19.50 x 25.50 x 1 inches
Kahn’s unique blend of American Realism and the formal discipline of Color Field painting sets the work of Wolf Kahn apart from his contemporaries.
According his painting student J. Steven Manolis, when Kahn travelled, he always painted with pastels because they were easy to transport. But, he also started his painting day with a 2-3 hour session of pastels. Kahn would say. "Pastels are my calisthenics before painting with oils on canvas." he would joke, "I breathe; I pastel" He considered pastel to be the "equivalent of dust from butterflies wings." His pastel technique would include placing the pastel on paper and then, rubbing and smearing the pastel on the paper with his fingertips. He would always exclaim how soft it was!
Almost all Wolf Kahn oil paintings were scaled up versions of an earlier pastel. Most art historians and art critics consider Wolf Kahn to be one of the most significant pastel artists ever, and certainly since Degas.