Scott Kahn

Scott Kahn was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1946. Kahn studied Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1967. He then relocated to New York where he spent a year as a student of abstract expressionist painter Theodoros Stamos at The Art Students League. Since completing his MFA at Rutgers University in 1970, Kahn has exhibited regularly in the New York art world. Kahn lives in New Rochelle, New York and works from his Brooklyn studio.

Scott Kahn is known for his intricate landscape paintings, drawing inspiration from his local community, his memory and his imagination. This combination of influences creates a dream-like reflection of American life. Khan has described this process as making a ‘visual diary’ of his experiences.

Kahn’s vivid canvases recall the naivety of Henri Rousseau and the surrealism of Rene Magritte, especially in his works incorporating figures inspired by people the artist has encountered. His oil paintings are brimming with poetics, suggesting a psychological interpretation of his subject matter of mysterious dreamscapes and portraits. Nevertheless, the artist has expressed a lack of direct influences or source material, saying in an interview, ‘it is best to have no gods’.

Kahn identifies his correspondence with the late, self-taught abstract painter Matthew Wong as a turning point in his career. Bonding over a shared interest in magical realism and nature, the artists inspired each other and championed each other’s work. Kahn’s career was catapulted after Wong posted a photo of Cul de Sac (2017) on his Instagram in 2018. This other-worldly night scene sparked the interest of collectors, galleries and artists, bringing Kahn’s illusory images long-awaited fame and recognition.

back to gallery