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Town Hall Gallery will soon be exhibiting the work of Louis Kahan (1905 – 2002) in Louis Kahan: Art, Theatre, Fashion. The exhibition will run from 27 August until 23 October.

Kahan is well known for his work as a portrait artist and painter, however this is the first time his work as a fashion illustrator and theatre designer has been showcased. The exhibition tells the little-known story of his work with the great fashion houses and celebrities of early 20th century Europe.

KAHAN, Louis, (1905 – 2002), Torso and Samples II, 1995, oil on canvas and marine ply, 87.5 x 67.5cm. © Courtesy of Louis Kahan/Licensed by Viscopy 2016.

We have worked closely with Kahan’s family, now based in the City of Boroondara, to exhibit his prominent work and celebrate his long and vibrant career. Co-curated by Laura Jocic, who was previously a curator in the department of Australian Fashion and Textiles at the NGV, Laura has said: “This exhibition showcases an exciting artist who moved seamlessly across theatre, dress and illustration. It’s been a personal highlight to work closely with the Kahan family to showcase the multimedia nature of Kahan’s work, and an untold ‘migrant story’ of the talent that arrived unheralded in Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. Kahan was a significant part of the wave of extraordinary talent arriving in Australia from Europe pre and post WWII.”

Spanning all three gallery spaces, this exhibition will highlight Kahan’s lengthy and colourful career.

Saint Catherine’s Day at Maison Poiret, 25 November 1925. Photograph by Boris Lipnitzki. Louis Kahan is pictured in the centre with Paul Poiret (back row) and Josephine Baker (seated).