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 Misch Kohn  (1916 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: California/Indiana      Known for: printmaking, mod sketch-animal-figure

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Misch Kohn
An example of work by Misch Kohn
Photo submitted by William Lord
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Hailed as a pioneer who re invigorated printmaking, Misch Kohn explored human responses to political terrors and social challenges and became known as a printmakers. Convinced that prints could be as elegant as painting, he was process oriented, doing his own work on his own printing presses, and investigating all sorts of techniques.

Kohn was born in Kokomo, Indiana to Russian emigrant parents and studied printmaking with master printers Max Kahn and Francis Chapin at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. Early on with the WPA, he produced color lithographs and also small wood engravings with strong political messages. These pieces are distinguished by the rhythm of negative and positive shapes emphasized by contrasts of black and white coloration.

He spent a year in Mexico, where he assisted Jose Orozco with mural painting, and this experience had a marked influence on his style. In 1939, he moved to Chicago where in 1949 he began a 22-year career teaching printmaking at the Institute of Design. In 1961, he went to June Wayne's Tamarind Lithographic Workshop in Los Angeles. His work became more abstract and darkened, but later he returned to more color and his work reminded viewers of his earlier woodcuts. In 1971, he became Printmaker at California State University at Hayward. The first retrospective of his 60 years of printmaking opened fall, 1998, at the Monterey Museum of Art in California and toured the country from there.

Source: "American Art Review", 'Beyond the Tradition', Jo Farb Hernandez, June 1998,

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