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PR 1

Wyatt Kahn's studio, October 2020

For the past ten years, Kahn has been shaping wooden stretchers to produce canvas-covered wall reliefs that engage and indict Modernist legacies of both painting and sculpture. With each body of work, viewers have encountered shifts in scale, geometric adjacencies, contorted shapes, saturation of color, experimentation with surface treatments, and forays onto paper.

 

In his newest reliefs, Kahn strays from the previous two-dimensional line of advancement and initiates a third dimension in a deeper constellation. “This past year made me look back at the foundational structures of my practice and add layers of chaos on top of them,” explains Kahn. The usual cadence of shapes, which shares affinities with Harvey Quaytman’s swooning forms and the strategies of the Supports/Surfaces movement, is redirected into an echo. Planes that would usually radiate outwards, right and left, now pile up on top of each other, obstructing each other, complicating the picture with physical depth and shadowy perspective.

PR 2

Piled Up (Ben’s Dream), 2020

The arcs and circles in Piled Up (Ben’s Dream) and Untitled, which harken back to Lygia Clark’s Neo-Concrete Ovo, suggest the fast passing of solar and cyclical time. The titles of particular works, such as Seated Bather or The Old Man, are nods to early Modernism’s preoccupations with lush arcadias, strewn with figures, even if we are only left with its foundational parts and limbs. Language, unspoken, unshared, or solemnly uttered in a vacuum, piles up. The way in which these new occlusions incite the body to move in a new choreography of apprehending recalls Willys de Castro, as well as Lee Bontecou. And yet, this absorption of references, forced through the simplest materials, is expressed in a visual language that is Kahn’s alone. It is an inventory of the artist’s syntax that guides us into the histories that inform his lexicon.

TIS-1

TIS-1

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

Exhibition View, Wyatt Kahn, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, 2021

As COVID went on, especially in New York, there wasn't any sound, just the sound of ambulances— that was the experience in New York City, for a few weeks. And then, you had Black Lives Matter, which was deeply impactful and affecting, especially in my neighborhood (Fort Greene in Brooklyn). And then, overarching, the politics of America over the last four years, and especially during quarantine, became extreme. 

I started making works that went back to the earliest work, some of the earliest work I've made and started showing, which was these kind of bare canvas paintings, or white abstract paintings. And what ended up happening kind of naturally is, I ended up making the bare canvas paintings that I had made before in 2011 and 2012, but I added layers to them, and I obstructed the view of the composition beneath. I piled on sticks and circles, and things that felt like they were eating away or consuming the paintings, or stacked on top or cluttered all over. 

—Wyatt Kahn

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I was influenced by Louise Nevelson’s and David Hammons’ introduction of objects to their paintings to engage and obstruct the painting beneath. I superimposed those thoughts over ideas surrounding compositional elements of European and Brazilian modernist artists, such as Kazimir Malevich and Lygia Clark.

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PILED UP (BEN'S DREAM)
2020
Linen on linen on panel
186 x 181 x 19.5 cm / 73 1/4 x 71 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
KAHNW47198
SOLD

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SHADOW
2020
Linen on linen on panel
223.5 x 195.5 x 12 cm / 88 x 77 x 4 3/4 inches
KAHNW46996
60'000 USD

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THE OLD MAN
2020
Linen on linen on panel
236 x 155 x 11 cm / 93 x 61 x 4 1/4 inches
KAHNW46997
60'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
219.5 x 188 x 17 cm / 86 1/2 x 74 x 6 3/4 inches
KAHNW46998
SOLD

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SEATED BATHER
2020
Linen on linen on panel
239 x 193 x 12.5 cm / 94 x 76 x 5 inches
KAHNW46995
SOLD

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PROFILE
2020
Linen on linen on panel
244 x 181.5 x 18 cm / 96 x 71 1/2 x 7 inches
KAHNW46991
SOLD

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A MONTH AWAY
2020
Linen on linen on panel
250 x 170 x 18 cm / 98 1/2 x 67 x 7 inches
KAHNW46992
60'000 USD

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JACKPOT
2020
Linen on linen on panel
124 x 118.5 x 25 cm / 48 3/4 x 46 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches
KAHNW46994
45'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
134 x 179 x 23 cm / 52 3/4 x 70 1/2 x 9 inches
KAHNW46999
50'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
264 x 251.5 x 16 cm / 104 x 99 x 6 1/4 inches
KAHNW46993
SOLD

Inquire

PILED UP (BEN'S DREAM)
2020
Linen on linen on panel
186 x 181 x 19.5 cm / 73 1/4 x 71 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
KAHNW47198
SOLD

SHADOW
2020
Linen on linen on panel
223.5 x 195.5 x 12 cm / 88 x 77 x 4 3/4 inches
KAHNW46996
60'000 USD

THE OLD MAN
2020
Linen on linen on panel
236 x 155 x 11 cm / 93 x 61 x 4 1/4 inches
KAHNW46997
60'000 USD

UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
219.5 x 188 x 17 cm / 86 1/2 x 74 x 6 3/4 inches
KAHNW46998
SOLD

SEATED BATHER
2020
Linen on linen on panel
239 x 193 x 12.5 cm / 94 x 76 x 5 inches
KAHNW46995
SOLD

PROFILE
2020
Linen on linen on panel
244 x 181.5 x 18 cm / 96 x 71 1/2 x 7 inches
KAHNW46991
SOLD

A MONTH AWAY
2020
Linen on linen on panel
250 x 170 x 18 cm / 98 1/2 x 67 x 7 inches
KAHNW46992
60'000 USD

JACKPOT
2020
Linen on linen on panel
124 x 118.5 x 25 cm / 48 3/4 x 46 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches
KAHNW46994
45'000 USD

UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
134 x 179 x 23 cm / 52 3/4 x 70 1/2 x 9 inches
KAHNW46999
50'000 USD

UNTITLED
2020
Linen on linen on panel
264 x 251.5 x 16 cm / 104 x 99 x 6 1/4 inches
KAHNW46993
SOLD

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
63.5 x 75 x 8.5 cm / 25 x 29 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43060
12'000 USD

Inquire

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
64 x 75 x 8.5 cm / 25 1/8 x 29 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43059
12'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
63.5 x 73.5 x 8.5 cm / 25 x 29 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43058
12'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
73.5 x 61.5 x 8.5 cm / 29 x 24 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43057
12'000 USD

Inquire

SAM & JAMIE
2017
Canvas on panel with armature and stuffing
244 x 160 x 19 cm / 96 x 63 x 7 1/2 inches
KAHNW47337
45'000 USD

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ANDREA
2020
Canvas on panel with armature and stuffing
160 x 95.5 x 32 cm / 63 x 37 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
KAHNW47336
35'000 USD

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UNTITLED
2017
Lead on panel
244.5 x 179 cm / 96 1/4 x 70 1/2 inches
KAHNW44825
65'000 USD

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UNTITLED (BLUE)
2018
Lead on panel
259 x 228.5 cm / 102 x 90 inches
KAHNW44826
75'000 USD

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UNTITLED (GREEN)
2019
Oil stick on lead on panel
237.5 x 172.5 x 4 cm / 93 1/2 x 68 x 1 1/2 inches
KAHNW45317
65'000 USD

Inquire

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
63.5 x 75 x 8.5 cm / 25 x 29 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43060
12'000 USD

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
64 x 75 x 8.5 cm / 25 1/8 x 29 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43059
12'000 USD

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
63.5 x 73.5 x 8.5 cm / 25 x 29 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43058
12'000 USD

UNTITLED
2016
Paper
Ed. 1/3 + 2AP
73.5 x 61.5 x 8.5 cm / 29 x 24 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches
KAHNW43057
12'000 USD

SAM & JAMIE
2017
Canvas on panel with armature and stuffing
244 x 160 x 19 cm / 96 x 63 x 7 1/2 inches
KAHNW47337
45'000 USD

ANDREA
2020
Canvas on panel with armature and stuffing
160 x 95.5 x 32 cm / 63 x 37 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
KAHNW47336
35'000 USD

UNTITLED
2017
Lead on panel
244.5 x 179 cm / 96 1/4 x 70 1/2 inches
KAHNW44825
65'000 USD

UNTITLED (BLUE)
2018
Lead on panel
259 x 228.5 cm / 102 x 90 inches
KAHNW44826
75'000 USD

UNTITLED (GREEN)
2019
Oil stick on lead on panel
237.5 x 172.5 x 4 cm / 93 1/2 x 68 x 1 1/2 inches
KAHNW45317
65'000 USD

Biography

© Phoebe d'Heurle

Wyatt Kahn was born in 1983 in New York, NY, US, and lives and works in New York, NY, US. Recent institutional solo exhibitions include Variations on an object at Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento, IT (2016); and Object Paintings at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, US (2015). The artist was also included in the group exhibition Jay DeFeo: The Ripple Effect at Le Consortium, Dijon, FR, which traveled to the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO, US (both in 2018). His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, US; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, US; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, US; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FR; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, US; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, US; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, US; CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, US; and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, US.