Published by Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Foreword by Lisa Melandri. Text by Robert Slifkin. Interview by Jeffrey Uslip.
His large-scale paintings collapse figuration and abstraction, encapsulate dynamic energy into geometric form and embrace imperfections and raw surfaces in an entirely human way.
Wyatt Kahn: Object Paintings features work from Kahn’s first solo museum exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. With an essay by scholar Robert Slifkin, the book also includes an interview between the artist and exhibition curator Jeffrey Uslip. Slifkin places Kahn in a “vitalist tradition of modernism” that includes Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella and Donald Judd. But in contrast to those more pristine artists, Kahn allows imperfection in his work. “Every part of my work is made by my hand, which is a flawed hand,” he tells Uslip, “I embrace my natural flaws, and that vulnerability becomes empowerment.”
This monograph dedicated to New York artist Wyatt Kahn (born 1983) encompasses his painting production from 2011 to 2017 and introduces his recent exploration of photography. Trained as a sculptor, 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.”