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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

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DEC 19-JAN 20 Issue
Critics Page

Wyatt Kahn

Wyatt Kahn, Untitled, 2018. Lithograph in 6 colors on lead, 52 x 39 inches. Courtesy ULAE.

I credit printmaking and my collaboration with Universal Limited Art Edition (ULAE) for the development as well as many of the breakthroughs that I have had in my paintings over the last few years. The difference in the paintings I made in 2016—when I made my first print with ULAE—to this past year, reflect an increased formal complexity and a refusal to limit the expression of my hand in the work. Each of the works in my most recent show were directly related to my experience at ULAE. The drawings on Mylar started when Bill sent 30 sheets of Mylar to my studio for me to draw on for my first print. It formed not only the basis of my prints but a whole separate drawing practice.  Five of these new prints are included in the exhibition. Additionally, the impulse to paint the surface of the lead came from the realization of the similarity of the surfaces of the lead to Mylar and litho-plates. I had been enjoying drawing freely with a variety of materials so it became inevitable that I would do so on the lead paintings as well.

My paintings and drawings have influences rooted in the prints as well. In regards to the materials, I took the use of lead from my paintings and started using it in place of paper in my recent mono prints. As color became more and more important in my painting, this same experimentation of color occurs in my prints. None of these developments were done alone though. It was through the collaboration, the mutual excitement that comes from working and reworking a single object that has so much responsibility in the development of my work. The energy in each print comes from the collaboration. The difference that ULAE has made can be seen in the difference between Untitled from 2016 and Untitled (Kahns) from this year. Both are lithography with a bit of silkscreen, but the difference between the two prints jumps off the page. Simply, it’s the desire to put more and more of my hand into the work. It’s become a circular system within the media. It was what I had most hoped for when Bill asked me to come make my first print at ULAE. I spent my late teens and early 20s working at Matthew Marks Gallery, handling paintings, drawings, and prints by artists who made their prints at ULAE. It was a moment of great significance when Bill visited my studio. Artists, who worked at ULAE, like those I encountered in my early years, always talked about their prints as being as important as the rest of their practice and how printmaking influenced the other mediums they worked in. I wanted to have that same relationship with prints and I was lucky to get it through my experience at ULAE.

Contributor

Wyatt Kahn

Wyatt Kahn lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues