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Wyatt Kahn
Late Nite


Raw canvas on panel

213 x 210 cm
“I would like the viewer to experience the errors in the process that reveal my hand, and a very human experience of imperfection”.

Following the tradition of minimalist abstraction, Wyatt Kahn’s multi-panel paintings are seemingly emptied of content, yet their construction allows for a sophisticated interplay of forms to become the subject of each work.

Kahn’s work evolved from a functional desire to extend the dimensions of an existing painting by adding a second panel. When he saw how this altered the relationship between 2D and 3D, he began assembling small, irregular shaped canvases into larger, more sculptural based works. Instead of drawing out geometric shapes onto the canvas itself, he turned them into physical components, referencing the single and multiple shaped canvases of Ellsworth Kelly.
Wyatt Kahn


Raw canvas on panel

201 x 157 cm
Late Nite, 2012 and Sideways, 2012 are both inspired by the human figure. Most of the panels are sardined together while others merely touch edges, creating an absence within the whole, or a break in continuity, as well as implying a further remove from the traditionally-shaped canvas. By working in this way, Kahn adds vigour by disrupting the painting’s surface; while the monochrome initially implies an insistent flatness, the dialogue between the adjoining shapes and their overall form creates a tension between surface, structure, and physical depth that remains elegant yet re-complicated.

Text by Gemma de Cruz


Wyatt Kahn at Hannah Barry Gallery
October 2012, by Sam Cornish, Abstract Critical

Somewhere near the centre of Wyatt Kahn’s paintings is a contradiction, or an ambiguity. On the one hand in their large-scale, abstraction and formal invention they relate to earlier periods of modernism, perhaps specifically to the shaped canvases of Frank Stella. On the other they counter this language with a faint tinge of absurdity, with suggestions of failure or the slightly careworn; at times their ostensible abstraction is combined with a sort of crude figuration, with a bulging line suggesting something animate or a line sticking out like an attenuated limb.

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Wyatt Kahn
October 2012, by Carl MH Barenbrug, Minimalissimo

I recently came across the outstanding canvas works of New York based artist, Wyatt Kahn, and thought many of you would also appreciate his collection.
Kahn’s paintings, which have been exhibited in London, New York, Berlin and Los Angeles, consist of forms, gaps and spaces. The forms are built out of stretcher panels and raw canvas. The panels begin as three-dimensional objects; but as they gather, they flatten out, transforming into the compositional components of a two-dimensional object. Between each panel is a gap that also acts as a line within the composition. Larger gaps become spaces; these spaces reveal and enclose the wall behind. The wall enters into a figure/field relationship with the panels and becomes just another material of the painting; the painting’s linear aspects both create and disturb perspective. Kahn uses raw canvas to focus attention on these shifting relationships.
The forms are really interesting and I particularly enjoy the pieces titled Thing and Her

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Bushwick Artist profile: Wyatt Kahn
February 2009, by Mimi Luse, Bushwick BK

For the past four years, the artist Wyatt Kahn has been living and working in a converted industrial space on Starr Street, a block from the L stop at Jefferson. Though a sculptor by training (this was his BFA concentration at the Art Institute of Chicago), of late, Kahn has quietly been developing a painting technique using dimensional materials. On raw canvas and paper, he applies liquid rubber, graphite and industrial solvents to create hazy architectural landscapes.

They are impressive to look at, and ambitious in scale and methodology. To start a canvas, Kahn pours liquid black rubber over it. When dry, he sands it to give it tooth, and applies layers of charcoal powder and a fixative. Then he presses a stencil that he has carefully cut from foam-core, sprays glue and shakes more charcoal powder through the negative. The result is a fragile, powdery painting that Kahn wouldn’t let me touch when I asked him — not even just a little bit on the side.

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