Wyatt Kahn: Sculpting Canvas

Each work by the fast-rising abstract artist Wyatt Kahn is made up of multiple panels reminiscent of an elegant jigsaw puzzle. The 30-year-old New Yorker assembles a series of unprimed canvases that have been cut into odd shapes and then pieces them together. But the gaps he leaves between them—some as fine as a line, some that incorporate the wall space into the composition—allow him to push painting into the realm of sculpture and sculpture into the realm of painting. “It affords me a lot of compositional freedom,” says Kahn, who in May will remake the facade of LAX Art in Los Angeles in pigmented cast concrete, and in August will present his first solo show with Eva Presenhuber gallery in Zurich, Switzerland. “My work can be read as traditional painting, but it’s really these two mediums put together.” More recently, he’s begun to stretch a thin canvas over a brightly painted one to allow the color to come through in a muted way. “Now, the color is coming from within; it’s not on the surface.”