Wyatt Kahn “Knots & Figures”

Galerie Eva Presenhuber

poster for Wyatt Kahn “Knots & Figures”

This event has ended.

Eva Presenhuber presents Wyatt Kahn’s exhibition Knots & Figures, the gallery’s sixth solo exhibition with the New York-based artist.

A syntax of irregular, disarticulated, and structured forms typifies Wyatt Kahn’s three-dimensional wall works, assembled into compositions as abstract as they are connotative. Consider A Bar, where geometries of semi-circular apertures, cut out of square enclosures, accumulate upon a dense surface, like seared-through coasters or half-empty glasses left in disarray on a countertop. Or Untitled (Him and Us), which reprises a motif familiar to Kahn’s lexicon―a vertical body articulated through the accumulation of a stack of thin, rib-like bands at its core, amplified, wrapped, even embraced by rigid U-shaped arms that lace over and under the primary ground. Anthropomorphizing metaphors arise easily, as he playfully straddles the line between geometric abstraction and figuration, between painting and sculpture, all the while intervening in each category’s respective and entangled historical lineages and discourses. And then there are his titles: The Girl with Hoops, Acrobat. Kahn’s syntax, articulated in form, is a grammar of signs within which language, too, plays an important role.
Take Standing Bather, an assembly of vertical edged columns staging a gathering of sorts—one that culls from the vast annals of art historical figures of the bather, only to render them here, unadorned, raw, unmodulated, as mere evocation. The subjects in this series, hinted at despite the seeming abstraction of Kahn’s forms, are deeply embedded in fields of reference spanning art history, but also the everyday, the domestic, the personal, the imagined: Acrobat may gesture to Picasso’s 1930 titular portraits of flexible figures contorting the human form into improbable postures, but it may just as easily evoke objects as quotidian as the step ladders in the artist’s studio and home, to say nothing of the narrative possibilities that may arise from the conflation of both nouns. Kahn never altogether casts out the subject; instead, it might reappear only because abstract geometries lend it new form.



from November 05, 2022 to December 22, 2022


Wyatt Kahn

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