gallery neptune & brown Wolf Kahn Color Creates Light

By Editorial Team on March 24, 2020

Sat, 21 March 2020 - Sat, 18 April 2020

Wolf Kahn, Birches by the Riverbank III, 2012
Monotype, Plate size: 10 x 20 inches, Sheet size: 16 x 25 1/2 inches.
On view March 21, 2020 through April 18, 2020.

Editor’s Note: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, art spaces in the DMV are closed.  Please visit the space’s website for information on virtual tours or purchasing art online.

“In nature, light creates the color.
In the picture, color creates the light.”
-Hans Hofmann

For Wolf Kahn, the process of making monotypes is a creatively rewarding one. His process involves working in tandem alongside a master printer with zinc plates, large wet sheets of heavy Arches paper, and a massive etching press. A lush array of Caran d’Ache water-based crayon inks await as composition, scale and color are applied and ready for a single run through the etching press.

mon-o-type (mӓn-ә-tīp) [from Greek, from monos, single, alone] n. A unique work of art made by applying water-based inks to a steel plate and transferring the image to a sheet of paper by means of a press before the ink dries.

This exhibition explores Kahn’s printmaking, which is an embodiment of his mentor Hans Hofmann’s statement, “color creates the light.” Through studies of color in what one may regard as a romantic landscape, oak trees and barns are transformed from their everyday presence. “For an artist” he asserts, “it can often be said that when he’s looking, he’s working.” And it is in this process of looking that Kahn begins to abstract the spaces where sky meets barn, barn meets the messy foreground, or the branches of a pecan tree interrupt and melt into the sky. The artist’s passion for monotypes as resulted in the creation of many landscape compositions through which his subjects “transcend the everyday…to represent an overarching insight.”

Kahn is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Medal of Arts. His work can be found in the permanent collections of over forty-five institutions including the National Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday by appointment
  • Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm to 7pm
  • Sunday: 1pm to 4pm

gallery neptune & brown is located at 1530 14th Street NW. For more information, visit or call 202.986.1200.