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Wyatt Kahn: Life in the Abstract

Wyatt Kahn: Life in the Abstract

About the Exhibition

Brooklyn-based artist Wyatt Kahn will share seven monumental sculptures for his first exhibition in public space at City Hall Park in 2022. Kahn has adapted forms he previously explored in his canvas works, transforming them into seventeen massive Cor-Ten steel objects. Assembled in unique compositions, the largest will weigh nearly 3300 lbs and measure over 15 feet wide. Over the past ten years, Kahn has examined the spatial relationship between painting and sculpture to construct a visual vocabulary of representational and abstract forms that integrate formal concerns with materials from everyday life. The new works unite geometric shapes from his earliest series of canvas paintings with oversized figurative “readymade” icons taken from domestic life, including a comb and phone, among others. Juxtapositions such as glasses resting on abstract shapes and a foot about to crush a lightbulb produce playful narrative compositions. Each component comprises numerous sections of steel that have been welded together into block-like forms, their front and back mirroring each other to create an illusion of drawing in space. The deep, rusted red tone of the sculptures is a result of the natural weathering process of Cor-Ten steel, contrasting with the lush green foliage of City Hall Park and evoking the steel structures of the city’s architecture and infrastructure. Life in the Abstract expands the lineage of modernist public sculpture, while the significance of each artwork takes on personal meaning and resonance for the viewer.

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

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