Several years ago, the late art historian Robert Rosenblum paid a visit to Wolf Kahns studio and, after a lengthy and attentive stay, turned to him and said: There is nothing here that Monet hasnt done already.
Certain summer afternoons Herbie would ring my bell, unannounced. He was wearing checkered shorts, an old pair of sandals and a light non-descript shirt.
For a few years I lived under a giant skylight in a windowless, basement level, 19th-century police truck repair garage on Mulberry Street. There, the city was far away.
My mental snapshots of Michael Goldberg start circa 1968 on an Easthampton bay beach. Its windy, early spring. Our party of daytime drinkers is crouched on the dunes, smoking Gauloises and pot. The one at the shore line pouring the Bloody Marys tells me Goldbergs backstory: Back in the '50s, when he made his precocious reputation, he signed his paintings Michael Stuart.
Let me explain. There are two polarities in town. The Biennale proper is an affair conducted with dignity by the American curator Robert Storr, a painter and curator of notable sensibility.
Wolf understood the watershed mutation that painting has undergone. It took guts to select a field of art such as landscape painting and persist in a venture around which so much else bustles with attitudes that dismiss the very art one makes. All matters counted, at the root of Wolf Kahns art there is his passion for painting as filtered through the landscape.