The daughter of painters Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason, and granddaughter of painter Alice Trumbull Mason, Cecily Kahn was destined to become an artist. A native New Yorker who has lived in New York City most of her life, Kahn lives and works in a large top floor loft on Canal street and Broadway, overlooking one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan. Her paintings reflect both the angularity of the city as well as the organic chaos of city life.
Kahn received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, and went on to study printmaking in Italy for two years at the Calcographia Nazionale in Rome and the Segnio Graphica in Venice. She is represented in New York by Lohin Geduld Galery and in Atlanta by Thomas Deans Fine Art.
Her work has been exhibited at The National Academy, The Painting Center, Katherina Rich Perlow gallery, and Sideshow Gallery. Her work has also been exhibited at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, at the New Britain Museum of American Art, and at The Hillwood Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, in Bogota, Colombia. Her work has been included in the exchange shows between The Painting Center and artists groups in Ireland, Barcelona and Colombia.
Kahn's work has been reviewed in Art in America, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, d'Art International, REVIEW Magazine, and in Abstract Art Online. Cecily is a current member of the American Abstract Artists group, and is Chair of the Advisory Board of The Painting Center.
As a native New Yorker, my paintings have always reflected the angularity of the city. I spent years making paintings of buildings, roof tops, and finally maps of the city. I began to play with the map image, layering one on top of the other thus creating new forms. Eventually, these map paintings shed their representational base and became more internal, psychological maps. I try to embrace opposing forces and create balance. I like working with the diversity that paint as a material provides: thin and thick, hard edge and ephemeral veils, and drips in all directions. Paint surfaces are explored by using various mediums to thin the paint or thicken it to impasto. Color and form are used in both organic process and consciously formal decisions, to explore ideas of plasticity and formalism.
In my recent work I concentrate on the essential issues of abstraction: color line and form. Surprise and humor are also important to me. I've found inspiration in work from the post-cubist period, such as the American Abstract Artists Group of the 1930's and 40's. They were also interested in working with the essential elements of abstraction, and doing away with anything extraneous. The viewer of my work will sense this connection and come away with a feeling of history revisited with a twist.
1981 B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
1980-81 International School of Graphics, Venice, Italy
1980-81 Calcografia Nazionale, Rome, Italyimulations" Yellow Bird Gallery, Newburgh, New York
2010 "Call and Response" Brattleboro Museum, Brattleboro, Vermont
2005 "Cecily Kahn Recent Work" Thomas Deans Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
2004 "Cecily Kahn Recent Work" Lohin Geduld Gallery, 531 West 25th St. NYC, NY
Selected Group Exhibitions
2006 "181st Invitational" The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art" NYC
2006 "War is Over" Sideshow Gallery , Brooklyn, NY
2006 "Little Women" curated by James Kalm, Dam Stultrager Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2005 "Three Generations of Abstraction" The Leubsdorf Art Gallery at Hunter College, NYC
2005 "Optical Simulations" Yellow Bird Gallery, Newburgh, New York
2005 "Works on Paper" Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2005 "Ideal; Selections from the American Abstract Artists" Metaphor Contemporary Art Brooklyn
2005 "Engaging the Structural" Broadway Gallery,NYC
2004 "Couples" Maine Center for Contemporary Art, Rockport, Maine
2004 "Inaugural Show" Lohin Geduld Gallery 531 West 25th St,NYC
2003 "Variations: Abstraction X 4" Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery 41 East 57th St. NYC
2003 "Paintings, Drawings and Works in Progress" The Painting Center 52 Greene St. NYC
2002 "Abstract Dilemmas" Martin Art Gallery 2400 Chew St Allentown Pennsylvania
2002 "Inspired by the Land" Attleboro Museum, 86 Park St Attleboro, Massachusetts
2002 "Rhythmic Renderings" Elsa Mott Eves Gallery, 610 Lexington Ave, NYC
2001 "Ying Li and Cecily Kahn", The Painting Center, 52 Greene St, NYC
2001 "The Art Showcase 16- The Permanent Collection at The Bond Market Association" NYC
2001 "Dialogue and Discourse" Dolan Center Gallery, Long Island
2000 "American Abstract Artists 1930-2000" Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University
2000 "Integrations" A.I.R. Gallery, gallery II, 40 Wooster St, NYC
1999 "The Arts of Friendship" Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, Maine
1999 "A Welcome Exchange" Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
1999 Solo Show at The Painting Center, 52 Greene St, NYC, New York
1998 "Abstraction from the Painting Center NYC", Art Actual Aula de Lletres, Barcelona, Spain
1997 "Small Works", Kendall Art and Design, Hudson, New York
1997 "Generations; 25th Anniversary of the A.I.R. Gallery", A.I.R. Gallery, NYC