Wolf Kahn, (1927-2020)
Study for Sfumatura, 1970
Pastel on paper
14 x 17 inches
Framed Dimensions: 21.50 x 24 x 1 inches
Wolf Kahn is known for his fusion of color, spontaneity and loose brush strokes, which create the luminous and vibrant atmospheric landscapes and color fields. 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.
This painting is the view from the front of Kahn's farm house in Brattleboro, VT. (looking north, down the hill)
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.
This pastel was a study for his larger Sfumatura,1978, Oil on Linen.