Wyatt Kahn - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Thursday, November 13, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Hannah Barry Gallery, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2012

  • Exhibited

    London, Hannah Barry Gallery,Wyatt Kahn: PAINTINGS, September 29 - November 11, 2012
    London, Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America Today, May 28 - September 9, 2014

  • Literature

    Abstract America Today, exh. cat., Saatchi Gallery, London, 2014, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I am trying to push sculpture to the limits of painting.” Wyatt Kahn, 2009

    Through his series of unprimed reconstructed canvases, Wyatt Kahn investigates the relationship of material flatness with sculptural dimensionality. Drawing upon the complexities of the human figure, Kahn’s incongruously shaped raw canvases are carefully joined, yielding a kaleidoscopic work that resides in the impossible space between sculpture and painting. Whilst the flatness of the work is that of a traditional painting, the jutting angles, dangerous curves, and daring edges are the unmistakable qualities of sculpture. Here, beams of canvas meet perfect spheres and vacant rectangles that liberate a simple canvas from its traditional boundaries. The artist explains that this method of artistic production “affords me a lot of compositional freedom…..My work can be read as traditional painting, but it’s really these two mediums put together.” (Wyatt Kahn in D. Solway, “Wyatt Kahn: Sculpting Canvas,” W Magazine, April 4, 2014) Through his re-imagining of a naked canvas, Kahn produces a beautifully rebellious new art-form that both challenges and celebrates the simplicity of art historical forms.

    The present lot, Late Nite, 2012 is comprised of triangular edges that portray a forcible sense of movement, each angle pulling and pushing in multitudes of directions. The tension between each images shape is harnessed by the sphere in the upper right hand corner that bonds the different elements together in an impossible balance. The void in the left hand corner leaves the viewer wondering where the canvases stop and the wall begins. “This distortion is one which is constantly checked or denied, but Kahn releases enough of it to allow his structures to be more than just arrangements of flat planes, or linear compositions. It means his parts can exist in dynamic relation to each other: rather than one piece simply being next to another, distortion breaks or re-draws their boundaries, so they can be spliced together to form ambiguous wholes.” (S. Cornish, “Wyatt Kahn at the Hannah Barry Gallery,”abstract critical, October 11, 2012) While each form is distinctive—edges almost daring one another to stretch and bend even further—once joined, the canvas becomes whole.


Late Nite

raw canvas on panel
83 7/8 x 82 5/8 in. (213 x 210 cm)
Signed and dated "Wyatt Kahn 2012" on the reverse.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $185,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 13 November 2014 7pm