On entering Andrzej Kuhn’s studio at ‘Atlantis’ I was transported to a magical land…
In 1940, when Kuhn was just ten years old, the Russians invaded his native Poland and his father was placed in a camp whilst Kuhn was deported to Kazakhstan with his mother and sister. His mother tried to escape with her family but she was recaptured and died in a prison camp. The children were placed in an orphanage but subsequently their father was released and reunited with them in exile.
The Kuhn family spent several years in refugee camps in Iran, Palestine and Egypt and much of the subject matter and imagery of Kuhn’s paintings seems to originate from that period of his life. He arrived in England in 1947 and won a scholarship to the Chelsea School of Art at the age of twenty-four. Perhaps one of the best insights into Kuhn’s art is a quote from his own article in the British Journal of Aesthetics (1961):
To me painting is like a journey into an unknown world. With my paint brushes ready at hand I travel in my minds to forgotten lands, lost deep in the obscure corners of memory, and penetrate to undiscovered islands of emotion.