Steve Kahn

Steve Kahn (b. 1943) was born in Los Angeles and took up photography at an early age, shooting assignments for a local newspaper while still in grade school.  In 1968 he took to the streets as a young photojournalist.

In 1973, Stasis, a monograph of 22 images, was published, marking his departure from traditional photographic concerns. This body of work and other projects that followed, reflect his interest in drawing, architecture and the influence of other artists such as Robert Irwin and Robert Overby and photographers Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams. 

Kahn went on to explore various traditional genres including nudes and interiors (The Hollywood Suites), architecture and landscape (Storm/Wall pairs) and the relationship of physical space to graphic space (Triptychs, Quadrants and Corridors).  All of this work was process oriented, having started off as pull-and-peel Polaroids. The work was concerned with many formal issues including generations, re-iterations, sequences and multiple image presentations.

 In 1986 Steve moved to New York to pursue a career as a commercial photographer.  During the next 25 years he produced several bodies of personal work including Chemical Plants (a photo essay shot in petrochemical facilities), Subway Portraits (a response to 9/11) and Brooklyn Shadows (images of barren trees projected onto the raw canvas of concrete and asphalt).

 Kahn’s publications include The Hollywood Suites 1974-1976 in 2014 and Corridors in 2015.  Chemical Plants will to be published by Nazraeli Press in 2018.

 Steve received an NEA grant (1978) and The LACMA Young Talent Purchase Award (1979).  His work has been exhibited in the US and abroad and is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Biblioteque National, LACMA, and the Getty Museum among others.


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