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Artforum Magazine

Kaleidoscope Magazine



Misha Kahn’s practice is grounded in contradiction. Rather than creating harmony between scale, function and materiality, Kahn zealously opts for discord, resulting in objects with constantly evolving personalities. For his exhibition at ANNEX, Kahn presents a rampant cast of character-objects, each one a unique manifestation of the artist’s unbridled worldview. 


In American Gothic, for example, Kahn covers an awkward, Play-Doh-like form of a chair with the aspirational and sophisticated texture of cashmere. A ubiquitous system of structural supports and crutches secures the chair’s fickle integrity, as if to help the chair up after tripping on itself during a stroll up Park Ave.


Meanwhile, a curious spat strikes up between Back Bend Starfish Puts on all Her Jewels for Her Workout, whose robust blobs of colorful hand-blown glass are revealed to Down the Road to the Right, an oversized chandelier made of woven Lavumisa grass, an intricate and complex technique Kahn learned in Swaziland. Are the two engaged in a coquettish dance or vying for the spotlight center stage?  


Kahn’s Tingle Tangle Mingle Mangle work desk suggests anything but discipline and productivity; rigid bronze is molded to make any task feel ungraspable as the hours slip through the fingers. And in case the day does decide to pass in vain, a mirror is offered to melt away in ennui. 


These, among others, are the players in Misha Kahn’s theater-interior. Endearingly absurd, each piece cunningly veils its trickery while acting out Kahn’s story of untamed design.


Misha Kahn (b. 1989, Duluth, Minnesota) graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Tel Aviv the following year. In 2008, Misha's work was included in 20 under 20 at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. His concrete Heyerdahl lamps were among the works in Bjarne Melgaard’s 2013 installation at the Whitney Biennial, and his work was exhibited in 2014 at NYC Makers: MAD Biennial at the Museum of Art and Design, New York. In 2017 he was included in FORBES 30 under 30. Kahn’s works is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Artsm Houston, Texas; Corning Glass Museum, New York and Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island. Misha Kahn lives and works in Brooklyn. Just Around the Bend marks Kahn’s Los Angeles debut. 

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