A World of Creativity and Imagination is Unveiled in John Kahn’s Retrospective Exhibition at the Massive Arts Research Shop, September 2nd-30th
Saugerties, NY – August 28, 2023 – Get ready to embark on a journey into the extraordinary world of John Kahn, as the Massive Arts Research Shop (MARS) presents the first comprehensive retrospective of this artist’s remarkable career. IKAHN: Arc of An Artist–which encompasses art and artifacts from 45 years of blissful creativity–will transport visitors into Kahn’s phantasmagorical realm where art and nature intertwine in breathtaking harmony. Starting September 2nd through the 30, MARS will unveil a captivating display of John Kahn’s modern relics, inviting attendees to immerse themselves in his woodland dreamscape of creations. Kahn’s diverse and innovative body of work comes to life through towering sculptures, intricate mirror/mantel pieces, and whimsical string figures that collectively tell stories of mystery, resilience, and cultural heritage.
The exhibition showcases Kahn’s ability to seamlessly blend recycled materials, weaving industrial relics, natural elements, and cultural references from his time living on Easter Island. The resulting experience is truly immersive and eclectic, drawing inspiration from sources as varied as circus, theater, film, and pop art.
In the words of John Kahn himself, “If a two-dimensional picture is worth a thousand words, one of my sculptures has provoked volumes of comments. After my work is complete, I have nothing more to say; my sincerity remains in the creative process.”
Kahn’s artistic achievements span a wide range of fields, including IKAHNIC architectural works, such as the Saugerties Tower House and his collaborative creative factory with Jim Henson at The Hill Street School House. A luminary of AmeriKHANa, John crafted the world’s largest magnetic Scrabble boards, which are in the collections of Google, Facebook, Etsy, and The Strong National Museum of Play. His involvement in developing promotional characters for Henson’s HBO show Fraggle Rock and co-founding the Big Apple Circus underscores his versatile talents.
For the past 25 years, John Kahn’s life has been closely intertwined with Easter Island, where he and his wife established the non-profit ECHO Foundation to preserve indigenous culture. His artistic homage to the Rapa Nui culture is evident in his Moai and String Figure sculptures that pay tribute and reflect the island’s rich history and mythology.
The public is cordially invited to the retrospective’s opening reception on September 2nd at Noon at the Massive Art Research Shop, located at 441 Malden Turnpike, Saugerties, NY. The exhibition will run during weekend hours from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and weekdays by appointment. Additional information can be found on the official website, www.ikahnic.org, or by calling 845-217-5071.
With limitless dreams of creative exploration, The Massive Art Research Shop is a collective of friends rooted in the worlds of skateboarding and snowboarding. It is a place for their community to gather and share focused artistic expression and experimentation through a mix of different media. Founded by Jasper Kahn, the artist’s son, MARS also serves as the headquarters for Kaaterskill Kahncrete, which builds skateboard parks around the country and the repository for John Kahn’s monumental “largest skateboard in the World,” which will be orbiting around the site during the exhibition!