City Life Org – Wyatt Kahn’s first public art exhibit to unveil seven monumental sculptures at City Hall Park in June

Image captions: Wyatt Kahn, Parade, 2021. Corten steel. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Xavier Hufkens. Photo: Genevieve Hanson Photography, New York

Wyatt Kahn: Life in the Abstract
June 8—December 11, 2022
City Hall Park, Lower Manhattan

Public Art Fund is pleased to present Life in the Abstract, an exhibition of new large-scale sculptures by artist Wyatt Kahn. He will bring seven vibrant rust-red Cor-Ten steel artworks to City Hall Park for Khan’s first exhibition in public space. Kahn adapted forms previously explored in his canvas wall works, combining elements of geometric abstraction with playful “out-of-the-box” objects from everyday life like a comb and a telephone. Juxtapositions such as glasses resting on abstract shapes and a foot about to crush a light bulb produce playful narrative compositions. These new works extend the lineage of modernist public sculpture, while the significance of each work takes on personal meaning and resonance for the viewer. Life in the Abstract is the New York-based artist’s first public art exhibition and will be on view June 8 through December 11, 2022 at City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan..

“Although primarily known as a painter, Wyatt Kahn has explored the relationship between painting and sculpture throughout his career,” says Daniel S. Palmer, assistant curator of the Public Art Fund. “This impressive new set of sculptures translates his distinctive visual vocabulary of geometric and figurative forms into monumental sculptures that integrate aesthetic concerns with everyday objects for dramatic effect.”

Over the past decade Kahn has examined the spatial relationship between painting and sculpture. Her practice explores the interplay between two and three dimensions using several uniquely shaped canvas panels that evoke the tradition of minimalist abstraction. Kahn developed a language composed of representational and abstract forms that integrate formal concerns with elements of everyday life. The geometric shapes of his first series of paintings on canvas take on new life when combined with everyday icons. In Untitled (2021), one of the new sculptures in Life in the Abstract, Kahn reinvents the abstract-shaped canvas that first appeared in Drifter, a painting created in 2011.

“The characters and groupings in this exhibition each have their own narrative, and I hope visitors will find their own meaning in the works based on their own experiences,” says artist Wyatt Kahn. “For me, the potted plant in my new sculpture Morning (2021) represents nurturing an idea, while someone else can remember the plant they raised throughout the pandemic. “

For Life in the Abstract, Kahn works for the first time with new materials on a monumental scale. Parade, the largest of the artworks, will weigh nearly 3,300 pounds and be over 15 feet wide. Each of the seven sculptures comprises numerous sections of steel that have been welded together to form blocks, their front and back sides mirroring to create an illusion of drawing in space. The artwork has taken on a deep red, rusty hue as a result of the natural aging process of Cor-Ten steel. In dialogue with the lush surroundings of the park, the sculptures simultaneously evoke the steel structures of the city’s architecture and infrastructure. Kahn’s seven massive new sculptures invite all audiences to bring their own experiences and interpretations to Life in the Abstract.

Wyatt Kahn: Life in the Abstract is curated by Public Art Fund Associate Curator Daniel S. Palmer, PhD.

Wyatt Kahn (b. 1983) lives and works in New York. Kahn is best known for his research into the visual and spatial relationship between painting and sculpture. Kahn assembles complex mural works in which the gaps between individual canvases give rise to abstract or painterly compositions. Rather than tracing the lines and shapes directly onto the canvas itself, he transforms them into physical components of the work. Referencing the tradition of minimalist abstraction, Wyatt Kahn’s monochrome multi-panel “paintings” are inspired by a desire to explore non-illusory forms of representation. Essentially, their subject becomes the interplay between two and three dimensions, experienced through changes in surface, structure and depth. In Kahn’s work, the wall on which the work is hung becomes part of the composition. Interested in a painting’s potential to function as the very embodiment of the object it depicts, Kahn also developed works in which shaped stretchers combine to create the shape of an actual object, while a synthesis of hand-drawn patterns and words embody its essential essence. qualities. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Center Georges Pompidou, Paris; MOCA, Los Angeles; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, among others.

City Hall Park is located in Lower Manhattan and is bordered by Broadway, Chambers Street, Center Street and Park Row.
Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. daily
Tubes: A, C, E to Chambers Street; 4, 5, 6, J to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; R at City Hall; 2, 3 to the park square

We encourage you to adhere to social distancing protocols when viewing the artworks. Public Art Fund exhibitions are always free and open to the public.

As a leader in its field, Public Art Fund brings vibrant contemporary art to wide audiences in New York City and beyond by curating ambitious free exhibitions of international reach and impact that provide audiences with powerful experiences with art. art and the urban environment.