"Still and Still Moving"
May 4-25, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, May 4, 5-7 pm
"This is what I want from my paintings - that they appear as physical masses that are still and still moving." - Deborah Kahn
Deborah Kahn's paintings are constructed but the final result is not predetermined. One form suggests another and the whole evolves incrementally from its discrete parts. Each element is, or could be, part of another adjacent one as boundaries are suggested but are not fixed or static. The overall atmosphere achieved through continuity of color shifts and overlapping connected shapes is one of unity and wholeness.
Over a lifetime of painting, Kahn has slowly developed a personal iconography which remains universal and approachable in its intimacy. Viewers find unique figures and animals, but their purpose and location in space remain enigmatic. Her paintings have a dreamlike quality where rational rules do not hold firm yet everything makes sense in its constructed reality. The simplification of the forms, spatial construction, and the texture of the paint surfaces evoke Early Renaissance fresco paintings evoking feelings of both the ancient and the immediate. By overlapping contradictory and harmonious forms, Kahn allows the viewer's conscious and unconscious mind to roam unfettered between abstraction and illusionism and to find personal meaning from the content.
Kahn studied at Boston University and the Kansas City Art Institute before receiving her MFA from Yale University. She is an Associate Professor Emerita at American University in Washington, DC and also taught at Dartmouth College, Yale University and the New York Studio School. Kahn has exhibited widely in the United States and also in Japan. She was a past recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.