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TO AUG. 23
Wolf Kahn was born in Germany in 1927 and immigrated to the United States in his early teens. Using funding from the G.I. Bill, Kahn studied with the abstract painter Hans Hofmann and later crossed paths with such leading abstract expressionists as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman. Of these artists, only Kahn is still alive—and he’s still experimenting. Broadly speaking, Kahn is a landscapist, but the diversity of his approaches keeps his oeuvre from turning monotonous. The more than 40 works by Kahn now being shown at the Addison/Ripley gallery include monoprints, silkscreens, lithographs, etchings, pastels, and oils. Most are boldly colorful (Verticality is pictured); Kahn isn’t afraid to use deep violets, vibrant oranges, and muted lavenders, often in the same piece. The effect is generally upbeat, but the works vary greatly in style, from highly gestural to blocky to watercolory to impressionistic. A few black-and-white etchings, most notably Springfield Memorial Bridge, could even, at a distance, pass for photographs. The finest works in the show are multiples—proofs and test runs hung side by side. The most notable of these are three versions of Kahn’s Kentucky Barn silkscreen series. Like Jasper Johns with his paintings of flags and targets, Kahn takes the simple, geometrical shape of a barn and uses it as a template for experimenting with a variety of surface renderings. The resulting works reside halfway between the figurative and the abstract. The exhibition is on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, to Friday, Aug. 23, at Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Free. (202) 338-5180. (Louis Jacobson)