SCOTT KAHN (B. 1946)
SCOTT KAHN (B. 1946)
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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more
SCOTT KAHN (B. 1946)

Autumn Moon

SCOTT KAHN (B. 1946)
Autumn Moon
signed and dated 'Scott Kahn '14' (lower right); signed twice, titled, inscribed and dated twice 'AUTUMN MOON KAHN 2014/15 © 2015 by Scott Kahn all rights reserved' (on the overlap)
oil on linen
24 1/8 x 28 1/8in. (61.3 x 71.5cm.)
Painted in 2014-2015
Private Collection, USA (acquired directly from the artist by the present owner).
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Anna Touzin
Anna Touzin Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

The paintings of Scott Kahn straddle the boundary between the worlds of reality and dream, verisimilitude and phantasmagoria. In Self Portrait as a Tree (2007) and Autumn Moon (2014-2015), Kahn translates the natural world into oil paint with exquisite care. The former in particular considers its arboreal subject with astounding detail, down to its dappled blossom and pinprick leaves. It is a marvel of light, colour and depth, executed with the care that one would expect for a more conventional subject. Yet despite representing recognisable flora, there is an unfathomable thrum in the air in both paintings, the sense that something remains hidden from us. The hazy night in Autumn Moon guards its secrets. Like René Magritte and Paul Nash before him, Kahn suggests surrealism in the everyday.

Kahn’s fecund aesthetic is the product of decades of focus. As a young artist in 1970s New York, he worked in a mode inspired by second-generation Abstract Expressionists. Yet he grew alienated from abstraction. Towards the end of the decade Kahn moved to the village of Sag Harbor, at the far end of Long Island, and taught himself to paint anew, vowing to create work that drew on his own personal life and experience. Kahn has opined that every painting is a kind of self-portrait, even when it depicts a seemingly external object like a tree.

Kahn’s work often returns to the natural world, as he observes, remembers and imagines it. Describing Autumn Moon in 2015, Kahn wrote: ‘The inspiration has to be strong and compelling. If I am not moved to begin a painting, how can I expect the viewer to be moved and compelled to look at it? I envy those artists who go seamlessly from one painting to the next, who have an inventory of ideas waiting to be expressed. My paintings don’t just fall off my brush.’ These two paintings are testaments to this determination.

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