A dialogue with renowned artist Tobi Kahn, painter, sculptor and designer of unique spaces across the United States and internationally. What are the components that create or transform a place as sacred? How--if at all--do the aesthetic elements change from one tradition to another? How does an artist shape his works for a given space and shape a space for the works that will be installed within it, to offer a mood conducive to prayer, to meditation, to thought? How has Tobi Kahn accomplished this for diverse groups with varied spiritual needs over the decades--and how has each effort further enriched his own sense of connection to the world around us as well as to the realm of the transcendent. Tobi Kahn is a painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in over 40 solo exhibitions and over 60 museum and groups shows since he was selected as one of nine artists to be included in the 1985 Guggenheim Museum exhibition, New Horizons in American Art. Works by Kahn are in major museum, corporate, and private collections.
For thirty years, Kahn has been steadfast in the pursuit of his distinct vision and persistent in his commitment to the redemptive possibilities of art. In paint, stone, and bronze, he has explored the correspondence between the intimate and monumental. While his early works drew on the tradition of American Romantic landscape painting, his more recent pieces reflect his fascination with contemporary science, inspired by the micro-images of cell formations and satellite photography. For twenty-five years, Kahn has been making miniature sacred spaces he calls "shrines." The first full-scale shrine, Shalev, is in New Harmony, Indiana, commissioned as an outdoor sculpture for Jane Owen and the Robert Lee Blaffer Trust.