Artist Biography: Wolf Kahn

Wolf Kahn

Born in Stuttgart in 1927, Wolf Kahn fled Germany at age 12 and moved to the United States in 1940. After attending the High School of Music and Art in New York City, he continued his studies at the Hans Hofmann School, becoming Hofmann’s studio assistant. His native tongue was often an advantage in Hofmann’s classroom, as he frequently translated the teachers’ signature mix of German and English for his fellow students. After over two years of training under Hofmann, Kahn later relocated to Chicago where he received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Chicago.

Influenced by Hofmann’s practice of using nature as the starting point for a painting, Kahn’s work encompasses both pictorial landscape and painterly abstraction. Converging color and light to create atmospheric and sensual pictorial fields, his paintings evoke the ethereal world of nature even when they are non-representational. Although they are a departure in temperament from Hofmann’s “explosive” compositions, Kahn’s paintings incorporate many of Hofmann’s principles of chromatic tension and movement. Often juxtaposing saturated magentas, pinks and oranges with cool, muted pastels, Kahn achieves a balance that transports the viewer into his tranquil world.

Kahn has received honors such as the Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His works are in the permanent collections of major museums, including the National Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He recently returned to Germany for the first time since his childhood for an exhibition of his pastels at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.


1947-49 Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art
1949-51 University of Chicago

1963 Purchase Award, Ford Foundation
1963-65 Fulbright Scholar Award to Italy
1966 Guggenheim Fellowship
1998 Lifetime Achievement Award, Vermont Council on the Arts

National Board of the College Art Association
National Academy of Design Board Member
American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters

Selected Exhibitions:
1957 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Also 1958, 1960, 1961
Jewish Museum, New York, NY
De Moines Art Center, IA
1958 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, NY
1958-60 University of Illinois Biennial, IL
1959 Corcoran Gallery Biennial, New York, NY
1961 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA. Also 1962, 1965.
1962 Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art, TX
1963 Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Kansas City Art Institute, OH
1964 Cincinnati Museum of Art
1971-72 Americans in Europe, American Federation of the Arts
1972 New England Art, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Chrysler Museum
1979 Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Corcoran Gallery, New York, NY
1970s Grace Borgenicht Gallery, New York, NY
Meredith Long Gallery, Houston, TX
1979 Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design
1985 San Francisco Museum of Art, CA
1987 San Diego Museum of Art, CA
1990 Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, FL
1993 Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston, MA
1994 Nerberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase, NY
Art 25, Basel, Switzerland
The Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA
Selected Exhibitions Continuted:
1994 Cove Gallery, Wellfleet, MA
1995 Thomas Segal Gallery, Boston, MA
Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV
Grace Borgenicht Gallery, NY
Carone Gallery, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, FL
Gallery 30, Burlingame, CA
Walker Kornbluth Gallery, Fairlawn, NJ
Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO
1996 Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Rediscovering the Landscapes of the Americas, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1998 Centennial Exhibition, American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York, NY
1999 Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
Works on Paper, New York, NY
Art Palm Beach ’99, Palm Beach, FL
Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charleston, SC
2000 Addison/Ripley Gallery, Washington, DC
Beadleston Gallery, New York, NY
Kunsthaus Buhler, Stuttgart, Germany
Fifty Years of Pastels, Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC
Museum Fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
2001 Galerie Brokstedt, Hamburg, Germany
Connecticut Graphic Arts Center, Norwalk, CT
Drabinsky & Friedland Gallery, Toronto, ONT
Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, FL
Museum fur Kunst und Gerwerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA
Thomas Segal Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Stremmel Gallery, Reno, NV
2002 Ameringer Howard Yohe Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL
Beadleston Gallery, New York, NY
2003 Wolf Kahn: Continuity and Change, Paintings and Works on Paper 1958-66, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, NY
2004 Wolf Kahn: Recent Paintings, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, NY
2005 Wolf Kahn, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, NY
2006 Vision in Granite, The Banks Gallery, Portsmouth, NH
2007 Yosemite – Art of an American Icon, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
Wolf Kahn: Sizing Up: Part II, Pastels, Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York, NY
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
National Academy of Design, Washington, DC
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Whitney Museum, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL
Memorial Gallery and Permanent Collection, University of Rochester, NY
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Minnesota Museum of American Art, MN
Houston Museum of Fine Arts, TX
St. Louis Museum of Art, MO
Dallas Museum of Art, TX
Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
Dartmouth College, Dartmouth, NH
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
New Orleans Museum of Art, LA
Springfield Museum of Art, OH
The State University of New York, Purchase, NY
University of California at Berkeley, CA
University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
University of Nebraska, NE
Williams College, Boston, MA
Worcester Art Museum, MA

Artist Biography: Giorgio Cavallon

Giorgio Cavallon (1904-1989)

National Academy of Design New York, NY, 1926.
Charles W. Hawthorne Provincetown, MA, 1927.
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, New York, NY, 1934.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship, 1929.
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 1966.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
Bottega d’Arte, Vicenza, Italy, 1932.
A.C.A. Gallery New York, NY, 1934.
Eighth Street Playhouse Gallery New York, NY, 1940.
Egan Gallery New York, NY, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1954.
Kootz Gallery, New York, NY, 1961, 1963, 1965.
Weatherspoon Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC, 1964.
A.M. Sachs Gallery, New York, NY, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976.
Gruenebaum Gallery, New York, NY, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986.
Patricia Learmonth Gallery, New York, NY, 1977.
Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY, 1977.
Paintings: 1952-1989, Manny Silverman Gallery Los Angeles, CA, 1989.
Paintings from the 1960’s, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1989.
Giorgio Cavallon (1904-1989): A Retrospective View, The William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.

Selected Group Exhibitions:
Biennale, Ca’Pesaro Venice, Italy, 1932.
Bottega d’Arte Vicenza, Italy, 1932.
American Art Today, New York World’s Fair New York, NY, 1939.
Post-Abstract Painters, France, America, Hawthorne Memorial Gallery
Provincetown, MA, 1950.
Young Painters in the U.S. and France, Sidney Janis Gallery New York, 1950.
Abstract Art in America, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY, 1951.
Drawings and Watercolors, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY, 1952.
Italy Rediscovered, Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, NY, 1955.
University of North Carolina, Greensboro Greensboro, NC, 1956.
Stable Gallery New York, NY, 1957, 1959.
Whitney Museum Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY, 1959, 1961, 1965.
Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL, 1959, 1961, 1965.
Documenta II, Kassel, Germany, 1959.
Five Contemporary Painters in a Twenty-Five Year Retrospective, Camino
Gallery New York, NY, 1959.
60 American Painters, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN, 1960.
American Abstract Expressionists and Imagists, The Solomon R. Guggenheim
Museum, New York, NY, 1961.
Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA, 1959, 1961, 1962.
Art in Embassies, Museum of Modern Art Bogota, Colombia, 1963, 1964.
Fourteen Americans, Abstract Watercolors, Museum of Modern Art, New York,
NY, 1963.
Contemporary American Painting and Sculpture, Krannert Art Museum
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1963.
Recent American Paintings, Art Museum, University of Texas Austin, TX, 1964.
Large Scale American Paintings, The Jewish Museum New York, NY, 1966.
Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Philadelphia, PA, 1966.
From Synchronism Forward- A View of Abstract Art in America, The American
Federation of Arts Circulating Exhibition, 1968.
The 1930’s, Painting and Sculpture in America, The Whitney Museum of
American Art New York, NY, 1968.
Betty Parsons Private Collection, Finch College Museum New York, NY, 1968.
Painting as Painting, The Art Museum University of Texas, Austin, TX, 1968.
American Geometric Abstraction/ 1930’s, Zabriskie Gallery, American Federation of Arts, New York, NY, 1972.
Bicentennial Exhibition, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., 1976.
Three Italo-American Artists, Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice, Italy;
Castello Svevo, Bari, Italy, 1988.
The Provocative Years 1935-1945: Hans Hofmann School and Its Students in
Provincetown, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA, 1990.
Giorgio Cavallon (1904-1989): A Retrospective View, The William Benton
Museum of Art University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 1990.
Paintings from the 1950’s, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1990.
Watercolors, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1991.
Giorgio Cavallon and Giuseppe Santomaso, Manny Silverman Gallery Los
Angeles, CA, 1991.
Summer Group Show, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1991.
Baruch College Art Gallery, New York, NY, 1992.
Seven Paintings from the 1950’s, Jason McCoy Inc. New York, NY, 1996.

Permanent Collections:
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.
Museum of The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.
Grey Gallery, New York University, New York.
University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA.
The Michener Collection, The University of Texas at Austin, TX.
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Hilles Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC.
Union Carbide Corporation, New York.
Continental Grain Corporation, New York.
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York.
Singer Manufacturing Company, New York.
Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Ardsley, New York.
Marine Midland Trust Company, Ardsley, New York.
Marine Midland Trust Company, Buffalo, New York.
Acvo Delta Corporation.
Tishman Corporation, New York.
American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA.
Avon Products, Incorporated, New York.
The Bank of New York, New York.
Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ.

Giorgio Cavallon, a pioneer Abstract Expressionist who brought to American painting a Mediterranean feeling for color and light, died last night at New York Hospital. He was 85 years old and lived in Manhattan.

While not widely known to the general art public, Mr. Cavallon’s airy, luminous, cautiously daring work has long had a llllowing among poets and painters. ”There are those who escape fame, but not respect,” wrote the Abstract Expressionist scholar Francis V. O’Connor in a poem to Mr. Cavallon that was published in the Art Bulletin last year.

William Agee, a historian of American art, said: ”He never made the official list of the big-name artists of that generation of Abstract Expressionists. I had conditioned myself to think of him as a lesser artist. But he kept showing us to be wrong in that.”

In Mr. Cavallon’s paintings, rectangles of color, their edges soft and irregular, are woven into screens or veils that seem diaphanous yet impenetrable, light, yet capable of absorbing all the space behind and in front of the surface. Allowing Colors to Relate
The paintings are carefully but intuitively balanced. Learning from Cezanne and Mondrian and then studying with Hans Hofmann, Mr. Cavallon put down one color here and another there, then tested and expanded their relationship and opened it up into others, finally tying everything together with a precision few of his peers could match.

Writing about the experience of a Cavallon exhibition, Frank O’Hara, the poet and critic, wrote in 1958: ”It resembles a town in southern Italy the walls of which have absorbed the sunlight for centuries and even on a cloudy or raining day give off the intense light of what they have absorbed.” The ”final luminosity,” Mr. O’Hara wrote, is ”achieved by white.”

Mr. Cavallon was born on March 3, 1904, in the village of Sorio in the province of Venice. His parents were Augusto Cavallon, a cabinetmaker who worked in both Italy and the United States, and Agnese Scarsi.

When Augusto served in the Italian Army during World War I, he sent his two daughters to a convent and his son to the farm of his brother-in-law, Dominico Cavallon. A Farm Child’s Life

”When Giorgio was a small child,” said the painter Vita Petersen, a longtime friend, ”he had to get up at 4 and bring the cows to the field and he was so tired that he took the oxen by the horns and went to sleep, swinging between the horns.”

During the war Mr. Cavallon drew in the earth. Sometimes he scratched drawings on bombshells.

He came to the United States in 1920 with his father and two sisters and settled in Springfield, Mass. In 1926, he moved to New York, where he remained – except for 1930 to 1933, when he returned to Italy.

He began as a figurative painter and studied at the National Academy of Design. He began exploring abstraction in the 1930’s but like other Abstract Expressionists, did not take the full plunge until the late 1940’s.

In 1936 he was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, a contentious and polemical organization that championed the cause of abstract art. The group’s link between political radicalism and abstraction helps explain Mr. Cavallon’s unshakable faith in abstraction and the consistently upbeat, almost utopian feeling of his paintings. He Did It His Way

Mr. Cavallon was remarkably self-reliant. He preferred to do everything by himself, by hand. He built his own freezer, stove and sofa, made his duck press, motorized his pasta machine and was known to spend days disassembling and assembling cars.

He made his own paints. ”He ground his own pigments, mixed it with oil and put it in the tubes,” Mrs. Petersen said.

He had a reputation as an excellent cook. Mushrooms were a passion, and he used to hunt for them with the composer John Cage. His recipes for spaghetti with clam-and-anchovy sauce, for spit-roasted leg of lamb and for risotto with mussels found their way into Craig Claiborne’s cooking column in The New York Times in 1969.

Mr. Cavallon exhibited with several New York galleries, including Egan, A. M. Sachs, Gruenebaum and Jason McCoy. He was given a retrospective by the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, N.Y., in 1977. Works in Many Collections

Last year, his work was shown at the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice. His work is in the collection of numerous major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. In March there is to be a Cavallon retrospective at the William Benton Museum of the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

In 1983 he was given the Marjorie Peabody Waite Award, granted to an ”older artist for continuing achievement” by the American Institute of Arts and Letters.

His marriage to Fabiola Caron, a singer, ended in divorce. He later married Linda Lindeberg, a painter, who died in 1973.

He is survived by his sisters, Domenica Italia Shulman of Storrs, Conn., and Marie Ida Kitzmeyer of West Brookfield, Mass., and St. Petersburg, Fla.