This monograph dedicated to Wyatt Kahn (b. 1983, New York) encompasses his painting production from 2011 to 2017, and introduces his recent exploration of photography.
Trained as a sculptor, Wyatt Kahn works with assemblages of raw canvas, individual panels in various sizes, shapes, and geometric forms. By juxtaposing them, he plays with the flatness and the illusion of depth and alters the viewer’s perception of dimensionality. Rather than tracing the lines and shapes directly onto the canvas itself, he turns them into physical components of the artwork. His works constantly oscillate between painting and sculpture, drawing inspiration from the body, urban architecture, and the natural world. In his essay, Terry R. Myers puts the emphasis on the reuse of the past in Kahn’s work. As the artist says, “I lean back on history not to reference artists, but rather specific time periods, referencing that period as to where we are now.”
Wyatt Kahn’s monochrome multi-panel “paintings” are informed by a desire to explore non-illusory forms of representation. Kahn’s works have a striking aesthetic simplicity, which allows raw interactions between the forms, following and referencing the tradition of minimalist abstraction. As Myers comments: “Kahn’s output from the past few years convinced me that he has absorbed the terms and conditions of that emerging articulation of a particular type of hybrid work from the 1960s and realized that it could be put to innovative use in our contemporary moment that still wrestles with boundaries and categorization.” Interested in a painting’s potential to function as the very embodiment of the object it depicts, Kahn has also developed works in which the shaped stretchers combine to create the form of an actual object, while a synthesis of hand-drawn motifs and words distills its essential qualities.
Designed by Joseph Logan, this monograph includes an extensive text by art historian and contemporary painting specialist Terry R. Myers, a regular contributor to Afterall, Art Review, Artext, The Brooklyn Rail, Modern Painters, Parkett.
Wyatt Kahn lives and works in New York. Recent projects include solo exhibitions at the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento e Rovereto (2016), and at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2015), as well as a commission for Performa, New York (2015).