Jeff Kahn was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1954. In 1971, Kahn began working on Jewelers Row in Philadelphia. By 1973, he had set up his own studio and began designing, producing and selling his own line of custom jewelry. From 1976-1980 he attended Pennslylvania Academy of Fine Art, where he continued working with furniture design, jewelry and experimental sculpture. His interest in sculpture led to his experimentation with different mediums including wood, metal, glass and electronics. Over the next few years he worked in machine shops, jewelry shops and furniture manufacturing, learning the tools and processes needed to make things.
In 1984, Kahn began making computer operated sculptures that would activate up to 5,000 light emitting diodes, thus imparting movement to the sculptures. These pieces led to the development of more types of kinetic sculptures and were progress towards his ultimate goal of creating large kinetic outdoor pieces of sculpture that moved naturally, free from wires, lights and technology.
Kahn's current kinetic sculpture collection, titled “Unseen Forces,” explores balance and gravity and the way almost imperceptible air currents interact with them. “Gravity, something thought to make things fall, is the motivating force and the element that holds these kinetic sculptures together,” Kahn says. The collection, which includes up to 35-foot high outdoor pieces composed of stainless steel, aluminum and titanium, combine Kahn’s 40 years of experience as a jeweler, machinist and wood worker. “The best part is assembling the finished sculpture and watching how it takes on a life of its own, often moving in ways I hadn’t anticipated,” he says.
Jeff Kahn's pieces are exhibited in private collections, corporate settings and museums.
2017 "Kinetic Sculpture in 4 Movements," Sculpturesite Gallery, Glen Ellen, CA
2016 "The Art of Sustainability," Palm Beach, FL
2015 "Boynton Beach Kinetic Art," Boynton Beach, FL
2013 "Boynton Beach Kinetic Art," Boynton Beach, FL
2013 New York Botanical Garden, Garden Sculpture & Antiques Fair, New York, NY
2012 The Shore Institute of Contemporary Arts, Asbury Park, NJ
2012 "Art in the City," Summit, NJ
2011 "Wind Through the Trees," Jenkins Arboretum, Devon, PA
2011 "Steam Punk," Freyberger Gallery, Penn State, Reading, PA
2011 "Balance and Beauty," Penn State, Berks, PA
2010 "Gallery in the Garden," Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Berks, PA
2010 "Buckingham Valley Sculpture," Buckingham, PA
2008 "New York Art Expo," New York, NY
2006 "Momentum," Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
2006 "Driven," Toad Hall Gallery, Hamilton, NJ
1974 "A Touch of Gold," Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Selected Commissions and Collections
Berkshire Botanical Garden
Grounds for Sculpture
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
New York Botanical Garden
National Air and Space Museum
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Pinnacle Health - West Shore Hospital
The Franklin Mint
University of Pennsylvania