Tobi Kahn, LAHAV, 7 Memorial Lights, 2011, Bronze, 60 in. wide, Courtesy of the artist
January 17–April 5, 2015

Tobi Kahn: Reverie

This exhibition brings together twenty-eight works in various media by New York artist Tobi Kahn. Although most of them are very recent, they embody the consistent and generous artistic vision that Kahn has pursued for over thirty years. The selection focuses on two constant anchors in his art: the delight in the always changing—and often transformative—beauty of nature (through paintings and drawings), and exploring Jewish tradition and ritual (through sculptural pieces).

The paintings in the exhibition start with nature but do not depict it. Rather, they reflect the memory of nature: recognizable yet not identifiable, they can be characterized as footprints of landscapes. The sculptural pieces in the exhibition bring about a different dimension of memory: time marked, recorded, and remembered. Two of them connect with Jewish tradition and ritual, and illustrate his unique take on ceremonial objects.

Overall, the exhibition offers tranquility and inspires meditation. Art, in Kahn’s vision, embellishes the world. The notion of purposefully adding beauty to everything we do connects with the Jewish concept of Hiddur Mitzvah, the enhancement of a good deed (mitzvah) encouraged by rabbinic literature. This is an apt way to contextualize the art of Tobi Kahn, an artist whose work reflects his proud and active participation in Jewish life.

Tobi Kahn, AKH-ITIM II, 2014, Acrylic on canvas over wood, 50 x 38 x 2 in., Courtesy of the artist
Tobi Kahn, PATUACH SAGUR PATUACH, 2012, Acrylic on wood, 9 3/4 x 12 3/8 x 8 3/4 in., Courtesy of the artist

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