ALIGNED: Paintings by Tobi Kahn

October 27 to December 9, 2011

The Art Gallery presents ALIGNED: Paintings by Tobi Kahn.  Kahn’s works, though essentially abstract, walk a fine line between the conceptual and representational. The use of simplified yet defined shapes come together to create landscapes that conjure a contemplative environment for the viewer. Many of his paintings appear as microscopic views of landscapes or organic materials.


Kahn’s interest in landscape is particularly profound in his Sky and Water paintings, which focus on the horizon line where sea meets sky.  In these works, Kahn plays upon a collective memory of the landscapes that bring together two vast expanses and transforms those memories by depicting them as quiet and simplified. He accomplishes this transformation by using subtle relationships between colors to evoke the familiar terrain. Each painting is thus a color study as well as an incubator for memory, and a space to contemplate this immaterial phenomenon. 


Healing, redemption, and self-contemplation are vital themes in many of his works, which are widely displayed in hospital wards and various places of worship. His works also have the unique ability to create a spiritually-charged space that extends well beyond his actual work. This creation of sacred space speaks to a universal spirituality that all audiences can enjoy. This commitment to reach across cultural and denominational lines is found in Kahn’s persistent use of abstraction, distilling the experience of spirituality and memory into indeterminate, yet familiar forms.  Observant viewers may leave Kahn’s paintings seeing themselves much like his works: a small fragment of a larger spiritual whole.


Tobi Kahn is a painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and groups shows since he was selected as one of nine artists to be included in the 1985 Guggenheim Museum exhibition, New Horizons in American Art. Works by Kahn are in major museum, corporate, and private collections. Kahn lectures extensively at universities and public forums internationally on the importance of visual language and art as healing.