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In Memoriam

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Nicholas Delbanco

In 2013, on the occasion of his 85th birthday, there was a tribute to the work of Wolf Kahn at the Miles McEnery Gallery in New York. Flatteringly, the painter asked me to compose the introductory essay to that exhibition’s catalogue

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Diana Urbaska

When Wolf hired me 30 years ago, I could never have imagined the impact he would have on my life—from introducing me to my husband and Vermont, to the deep studio and personal relationship we formed over so many years.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Martica Sawin

Many summers Wolf and his wife, Emily Mason, would stop for a meal or a night at my place on the Maine coast on their way home to Vermont. While the rest of us sat drinking on the porch, Wolf would settle down on the ground below, facing the water, and do three pastels before the sun dropped into Casco Bay.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Lucio Pozzi

Wolf understood the watershed mutation that painting has undergone. It took guts to select a field of art such as landscape painting and persist in a venture around which so much else bustles with attitudes that dismiss the very art one makes. All matters counted, at the root of Wolf Kahn’s art there is his passion for painting as filtered through the landscape.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Virginia Mecklenburg

It was a hot day. The sky was hazy, the air was still, and the sun had turned once-green grass to gold. Insects buzzed softly, and warm currents of air gently nudged the tops of the trees sheltering a barn. I was there—emotionally and experientially transported to the summer studio where Wolf Kahn created the most affecting landscapes I had ever seen.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Margaret Chace

I was fortunate to know Wolf Kahn for about 30 years, starting when he published books with Harry N. Abrams in the 1990s, where I was an editor. He was charming, funny, generous, and talented, and his books were very popular.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

William Agee

Working with Wolf in his studio was like watching a hawk circling its prey. We would be talking but his eyes were glued to his paintings hanging on the walls. He was always looking, searching, and ready to dive back into his paintings at a moment’s notice.

A Tribute to Wolf Kahn

Miles McEnery

They say, “Never meet your heroes.” I couldn’t disagree more.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2020

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