Paintings and Sketches
Re/Framing Louis Kahn


“Kahn’s approach was full of admiration and curiosity. Both his figure analyses made in his early school years as well as watercolor and pastel paintings produced on his journeys, and the charcoal sketches, all prove how he got engaged in what he saw and how he read his surroundings and the views around him as reflective of moods.”
Jale Erzen


Piazza Del Campo No.2, Siena, Italy, 1951 ‒ Pastel on paper, Nathaniel Kahn Collection

Kahn grew up nested with painting and music from his early ages: “I was born into art as part of life, not something that’s attached to life in a peripheral way. My parents were in the middle of it.” One day in his early childhood, he got enchanted by the green-blue glitter of burning coal in the open fireplace which he grasped to preserve its color and caused an accident. The scars on his face would later become an important part of Kahn’s personal mythology and expression as well as the symbol of his sensitivity to light and color. His two trips to Europe are remarkable for the paintings and sketches that he produced during them. In 1928-29, Kahn travelled from northern Europe to Italian cities. According to Vincent Scully, on this trip, his paintings were influenced by contemporary styles whereas on the second one in 1950-51 to Greece and Egypt, he would attain his own style. Kahn would coalesce in empathy with what he sees, thinks and imagines.


In The Cabin, Indian Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1938, Oil on canvas, Sue Ann Kahn Collection

Our “Re/Framing Louis Kahn: Photographs by Cemal Emden – Drawings and Paintings” exhibition can bee seen until March 4!


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