THE PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES OF LOUIS KAHN by Jan Hochstim
Rizzoli, 1991 First edition, 340 pp., 9 3/4" X 12 1/2" Hardcover
Very good +
Kahn's little-known paintings and drawings are an astonishing body of work. In apparent contrast to the formalism of his geometrical buildings, he gives us Venice bathed in a palpable aura of romanticism, conjures mystical views of Gloucester, Mass., streets, fuses the influences of Picasso and Matisse in jolting portraits, and embroiders an exquisite tracery in graphite or crayon sketches of bridges and houses. He freely paraphrases Cezanne, John Marin, Grant Wood, El Greco and art deco while stamping his own personality on every picture. He outdoes himself in flamboyantly colorful yet tightly controlled pastels evoking ancient Egypt's grand geometrical forms. There are also lyrical tree studies, empathic sketches of animals, bold metaphysical abstractions. Limpid clarity, a sense of order and pure poetry are everywhere in evidence.