IRA KAHN

 
 

IRA KAHN (AMERICAN, b. 1950)

Ira Elliot Kahn was born in San Francisco and introduced to photography as a seven year old boy while living in Cambodia. In 1965 Kahn began to develop his craft, doing beautiful work in the darkroom where his passion for fine prints was born as he learned how to make them. His work was first exhibited in 1967. Kahn studied studio art and film making at Stanford University, receiving his degree with distinction in 1972. Today, his work can be found in distinguished public and private collections.

Intimacy and form are the cornerstones of Kahn's work. Delight in seeing inspires it; abstraction and craftsmanship realize it. So much of our world is given to imitation. In contrast, Kahn works with conditions and subjects that reflect a genuine nature of their own. He renders them in a way that builds upon essential but often hidden and obscure characteristics. Kahn's photographs are true to their subjects though always interpretive and rarely representational. "The union of mystery and vitality in the art of so many ancient and
tribal cultures is a fundamental influence in my work." Like ceremonial masks that reveal more than they conceal, Kahn's photographs are conduits through which otherwise unknown qualities are expressed.

"It's hard to characterize Ira Kahn's work. Some call him a photomuralist; he simply calls himself a photographer. But there is nothing simple about his fine art photography instalations; signature pieces that hang on the walls of some of the best-known businesses in America." - Vanessa Warner

SELECTED COLLECTIONS AND INSTALLATIONS
AT&T
American Express Company
Bank of America
Bank of Ontario
Charles Schwab & Co., Rockefeller Center, New York
Citicorp
F-Stop Fitzgerald
Gardere
Topher Delaney
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company
Andrew Fisher and Jeffry Weisman
Five Thousand Years of Korean Art
Leonore and Leonard Herzenberg
Hewlett Packard
IBM
IDEO
Kazuo Inamori
David Kelley
Issey Miyake
Pacific Bell, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Ballet Company
Varian Medical Systems
Wet Design, Universal City, CA
Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto, CA

EXHIBITIONS
Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
Bank of America World Headquarters, San Francisco, CA
Color Center, anchorage, AK
Elmwood Gallery, Berkeley, CA
Air Touch Communications, Walnut Creek, CA
American Institute of Architects, San Francisco, CA
Judith Litvich Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

PUBLICATION AND REVIEW
Graphis Photo Annual
The Fountains of Bellagio, book and cover
Shock and Awe Responses to War, book cover
Land Forum, feature and cover
Oceans Magazine, gallery
Revue des Sciences Sociales, cover
World Architecture Review, feature and cover
Fountains Splash and Spectacle, book and cover
The Commercial Image, feature, cover and review
San Francisco Chronicle, review
The Anchorage Times, review

TEACHING
Guest Speaker, San Francisco State University
Guest Speaker, Stanford University

AWARDS AND GRANTS
American Society of Landscape Architects, Communications Award of Excellence
International Photography Awards
Better World Fund
Intersection for the Arts