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Wolf Kahn Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Wolf Kahn + Wolf Kahn's America: An Artist's Travels + Wolf Kahn: Pastels
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Revised edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810997908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810997905
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 10.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Austere in design, American painter Wolf Kahn's landscapes, pure constructions of color and light, evoke a world of timeless beauty. In this exceptionally attractive monograph featuring 100 color plates, art critic and novelist Spring traces Kahn's wildly exuberant experimentation in an informal chronicle based on interviews with the artist and his associates. Born in 1927 in Germany to a Jewish orchestra conductor and a mother who died in a sanatorium when he was five, Kahn was shipped to England in 1939 and was reunited with his father in the U.S. one year later. In the late 1940s, Kahn studied with abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann, a purist for whom art was a sacred calling. Absorbing the lessons of Van Gogh and Pierre Bonnard, he achieved in his mature work an original vision concerned with the direct, sensual experience of color. His serene late pictures of woods and sunsets radiate an air of spiritual transcendence. Painter/critic Finkelstein illuminates the dialogue between abstraction and representation in Kahn's work.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Justin Spring is a novelist and art critic. His work has been published in Art Forum, the New York Times, and the Village Voice. Karen Wilkin is a curator and critic. She is a contributor to the New Criterion, Art in America, and the Wall Street Journal. The late Louis Finkelstein, artist and critic, was a professor emeritus at Queens College, City University of New York.


More About the Author

Justin Spring is a New York based writer specializing in twentieth-century American art and culture. His biography SECRET HISTORIAN is a 2010 New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a 2010 National Book Award Finalist, an Amazon Top 10 Biography of the Year, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book for 2011,winner of the 2011 Lamda Literary Award in Biography; the winner of the 2011 Randy Shilts Prize in Non-Fiction from the Publishing Triangle; and winner of the 2011 Geoff Mains Non-Fiction Prize of the National Leather Association. It is also an ARTFORUM Top 10 of 2010 pick and a Top 10 Book of the Year for 2010 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

For a full review of SECRET HISTORIAN by Mark Harris in the New York Times Book Review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/books/review/Harris-t.html?_r=1&ref=bookreviews

For a feature on Justin Spring's discovery of the Steward Archive, by Patti Cohen in the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/books/26secret.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Justin%20Spring&st=cse

For a slide show in the New York Times about the Steward Archive:
www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/.../20100726-secret.html

Customer Reviews

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I love the paintings of Wolf Kahn.
J. Miller
The reproductions are beautiful colour images of his work and the text is very informative.
N. Jones
This captures his independent spirit perfectly.
!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Jake Zoucha on April 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had never even heard of Wolf Kahn until I saw this book at a local store. I looked through it fell in love with the art and had to have it. I recieved the book as a present(ordered from amazon--saved 15 bucks or so) and loved it. It has great info on Kahns life and comments on style, use of color etc. But what really makes this book great are the pages and pages of paintings. What makes most art books truly great(to me at least) is a lot of high quality color photos of the artists work to go along with some insightful commentary. This has many. From his early works up to as recent as 1995 paintings I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the painting on the cover. If you like that you will not be disappointed
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ! on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I own a few coffee table art books. This is one I have actually read, cover to cover, several times. There are two major sections, one about Wolf Kahn's life and the other concentrating on his artistic content. Both are insightful into this genuine imported American Treasure.

I've been following Kahn since the 1980's. Somewhere online is a remarkable video lecture by Kahn with some title like 'Why not to be a Landscape Painter'. This captures his independent spirit perfectly.

Many of us artists struggle with the vision we want to express. In this book, you can see the progress of Kahn's struggle and success as he moves into his current, very effective, and now over-imitated style (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but often one of the ugliest.)

I hope Kahn lives and paints for many more years, because he is one of the tops painting today. Great book, by the way.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jake Stanley on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Wolf Kahn's work for the first time this year at the Ameringer Yohe gallery and found it inspiring and exciting. Because Kahn is now 81 years old, the story of his life and careers spans several important art movements including Color Field and Abstract Expressionism. Early on he was a teaching assistant for Hans Hoffmann, and his contemporaries include Larry Rivers and Jane Frielicher. Anyone interested in art will learn a lot in a pleasurable way by reading this book. And the paintings are luscious!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wolf Kahn is a thorough going an American painter as anyone dealing solely with the landscape. Born in Germany in 1927 Kahn immigrated to the US in 1940, studied with Hans Hofmann (at that time one of the leading abstract expressionist painters in the country) and from Hofmann's influence he delved into color field painting and eventually attached those color fields to naturescapes. He is now one of those easily recognizable artists whose works are so consistently eloquent and beautiful that they cause viewers to pause and enter his canvas spaces. He is dismissed by some critics as being repetitive in subject matter and in color juxtapositions, but to the viewer his technique never falters.

This monograph is as fine as any of the several that have been published, and much of that is due not only to the elegant design and over one hundred color reproductions of his works, but also to the warm conversation art critic and writer Justin Spring brings to the informational aspects of the monograph. As is his usual style, much of the information in written form is from interviews with the artist, and it is form these edited interviews that Spring's gift for creating a bridge between the subject and character of the artist and the viewer shines. In addition to Justin Spring's luminous contribution to this book, there is also a fine essay by Louis Finkelstein sharing the relationship between abstraction and representation in a manner as well as it can be explained.

In all this is a book of incandescent paintings by one of the country's most respected and enduring landscape artists. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 10
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Jones on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book about Wolf Kahn is exceptional. He is a colourist and abstract landscape painter. The reproductions are beautiful colour images of his work and the text is very informative. I highly recommend this book for artists and art enthusiasts who are searching for inspiration and a better understanding of the abstract movement in North America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Maloy on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This was a gift and a perfect one for the person I gave it to. Lots of color and something to display !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on August 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I love the paintings of Wolf Kahn. The book was exactly what I had hoped for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RJM on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a beautiful book and the text is very informative in so many ways. It tells of his life and mentors and it tells about how his works have developed. I love this artist and knew nothing about him so this is just perfect to have the gorgeous paintings so perfectly reproduced and the history of his life too. After seeing a video of Wolf Kahn in which he tells us he is suffering from Macular Degeneration and so he has had to let go of some of the preciseness of his paintings; he gives the viewer a gift in that we must look at each painting harder and deeper. This is a book that would be a great addition to any art book collection.
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