Wolf Kahn, an influential modern landscape painter, explains why people become artists, despite the apparent impracticality of art.
Wolf Kahn's work infuses the landscape tradition with a new vitality. He has been featured in major solo exhibitions around the country and is represented in numerous major museum collections. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927. The son of the conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, he was sent to live with his grandmother in Frankfurt when he was three years old. Kahn left Germany in 1939, as an eleven-year-old refugee from Nazi Germany, to live in England. In 1940, Kahn joined his father, two brothers, and sister who had settled in the United States and became a student at New York's High School of Music and Art. After serving in the Navy, he used the GI Bill to study with the well-known teacher and abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann. Kahn later joined with a group of other former Hofmann students to establish The Hansa, a cooperative gallery. Though his first two shows were favorably received, sales of his work were slow in the beginning and he was forced to teach part-time. By 1955, Kahn was able to devote himself entirely to painting, although he would still occasionally teach classes at the University of California, Berkeley, Dartmouth, and Cooper Union.