These paintings will be included in the show "Tobi Kahn: Metamorphoses," (see details below), a
traveling museum show displaying the works of Tobi Kahn curated by Peter Selz and circulated by
Council for Creative Projects.
The show opened August 7, 1997 and will travel to eight museums across
the United States over the next 2 years.
Tobi Kahn Metamorphoses
A traveling Museum Exhibition curated by Peter Selz
Circulated by Council for Creative Projects.
"Nature is a teacher who never deceives."
- Albert Pinkham Ryder
In 1985, Tobi Kahn was one of nine artists whose work was selected for the Guggenheim Museum's national exhibition, New Horizons in American Art. In the decade that followed, Kahn's paintings and sculpture have been shown in over 20 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and gallery group shows. His work has been acquired by major American museums and has been the subject of significant critical attention.
Curated by Peter Selz, who has followed Kahn's work steadily since the Guggenheim show, this traveling museum exhibit brings together the paintings and sculpture of an artist who extends an American tradition the distillation of the natural world into elemental forms.
Kahn's paintings are characterized by their powerful simplification; their alchemy of memory and dream; and their uneasy union of meditative tranquility and disturbing solitude. His acclaimed shrine series, devotional objects consisting of an architectural form surrounding a totemic image, range in scale from intimate maquettes to a bronze-and-stone outdoor sculpture (commissioned by Jane Owen and the Robert Lee Blaffer Trust for New Harmony, Indiana).
The exhibit reveals Kahn as an artist of both vision and virtuosity. The poetry of his color and the unique modulation of his surfaces create a primeval world of the unconscious. Defying fashion, Kahn has explored that world with painterly authority and a distinctive vocabulary.
What animates all his art is the yearning of the human spirit for transcendence.
Representing a decade of work, this exhibition will be the first to explore the reciprocity between Kahn's painting and sculpture. It will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by Peter Selz, as well as essays by Dore Ashton and Michael Brenson.
Peter Selz comments:
Working with a subdued palette of subtle tonalities and corporal texture, Kahn has created paintings that can be seen as abstracted landscapes, seascapes, and skyscapes. But old distinctions between the figurative and abstract are meaningless in the ambiguous paintings by Kahn, who has stripped his experiences of the landscape to the essential organic energies of natural forms. His paintings belong to Romantic tradition of fantasy as seen in the work of American painters such as Albert Pinkham Ryder and Arthur Dove or the proto-Expressionist landscapes by Edvard Munch all dealing with the mysterious and impalpable aspects of nature.