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Wolf Kahn & Nell Blaine

Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Wolf Kahn & Nell Blaine. The exhibition opens on Friday, May 3, 2024 at our Main Street location with a public reception from 5 – 7 pm. The show runs through June 28.

Over the course 47 years in business, Reynolds Gallery has celebrated many artist relationships that are foundational to the gallery’s program and aesthetic. Nell Blaine and Wolf Kahn are two key figures in the history of the gallery. Our founder Beverly Reynolds had great pride in her relationships with these artists as both deep personal friendships and successful business collaborations. Kahn and Blaine are considered Second Generation New York School painters, and they moved in similar circles in New York and studied with famed Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann during the 1940s – 50s. Though both artists were highly schooled in the abstract art movement, they remained largely representational in their subject matter and chose to focus on landscapes and still lifes.

Wolf Kahn (1927 – 2020) first exhibited with Reynolds Gallery (at the time, the Reynolds-Minor Gallery) in 1988, and held nine solo shows through the years. In preparations for shows, Bev would spend the day with Kahn in the studio, pulling paintings from the racks, having lunch in his little studio kitchen, and laughing alongside his witty comments. Kahn had a deep admiration for Bev and the Virginia landscape, stating “I think [Richmond] is very beautiful. I like the Fan. I just generally love Virginia because it’s so lush. […] I’m very fond of the American South. I’ve done a lot of traveling through the South, and teaching there, too” (Interview with Jason Coates for Style Weekly, 2005).

Nell Blaine (1922 – 1996) was a Richmond native who studied drawing with VCUarts’ founder Theresa Pollak. As Bev loved to tell the story, at the age of 20, Blaine hopped on the train to New York and never looked back (1942). She was a woman ahead of her time who fought to convince Hans Hofmann to let her study in his school. Reynolds held Blaine’s first solo show “Paintings, Drawings, and Etchings” in 1985, the first of eight solo exhibitions with us. Bev loved to tell how Blaine was a night owl and studio visits at Blaine’s home in Gloucester, MA could often go on until the small hours of the night.

About the Artists

Wolf Kahn

Regarded as one of today’s most important representational painters in the nation, Wolf Kahn renders stunning landscapes and abstracted scenes in vibrant hues. Exploring color and light as an aesthetic and emotional field, his oil paintings and pastels exhibit unique color combinations both intriguing and complex. His work truly serves as a vehicle for expressing tone, energy, and movement. Kahn immigrated from Germany to New York City in 1943, where he studied with artist Hans Hofmann, and later received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago (1951). His work is held in major collections, including the Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, all New York, NY; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. He has received major accolades, including the Department of State’s 2017 International Medal of Arts, Fulbright Scholarship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Award in Art from the Academy of Arts and Letters, among others.

Nell Blaine

Blaine was foremost an abstract painter, first a student of Theresa Pollak at the Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU), and later moving to New York in the 1940s to learn under Hans Hofmann. She immersed herself in the post-World War II New York art scene, which embraced color and gesture through Abstract Expressionism. The acute sense of hue, shape, and line apparent in her oil paintings originate in part from her early stages of art making, characteristically unabashed and intuitive. Instinct carried Blaine through her work; in 1959 at the age of 37, she contracted bulbar-spinal polio which paralyzed her from the waist down, forcing her to relearn how to paint. She began painting in oils with her left hand, adding a genuine looseness and determination. This persistence seeped into each scene as Blaine transitioned to a representative style, her hand capturing parks and rivers outside her Gloucester, Massachusetts home, her Upper West Side apartment in New York, and floral studies neatly arranged in her kitchen. Poetic, lyrical, and charmingly clever, Blaine’s oil and ink compositions lure in viewers as their luminous quality carries through to present day. Blaine was born in 1922 in Richmond, VA. In her lifetime, she exhibited at major galleries including Tibor de Nagy, Jane Street Gallery, and Fischbach, all, New York, NY; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Art Institute of Chicago, IL, among others. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Blaine passed away in 1996 at the age of 74.


Reaching Skyward, 2002, Oil on canvas, 60 x 84 inches
Yellow Tree Amid Grays, 2004, Oil on canvas, 52 x 60 inches
Bald Cyprus, 2001, Oil on canvas, 72 x 78 inches
Purple Diagonal, 2008, Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 inches
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Blue Cloth, 1980, Oil on canvas, 26 x 22 inches
Picotee, 1989, Oil on canvas, 24 x 22 inches
Orange and Green Bouquet, 1994, Oil on canvas, 27 x 21 inches
Eudora Room, October, 1982, Oil on canvas, 28 x 32 inches
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