Bill Cahan is a contemporary San Francisco painter who’s practice stems from his interest in exploring light and space within painting. His work is heavily influenced by his early training in architecture and by his professional background in design.
He studied and practiced as an architect—then founded one of the world’s most original, influential, and respected design firms, Cahan & Associates. His work has garnered over 2,800 awards for design excellence and is featured in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, the Library of Congress, Museum Fur Kunst Und Gewerbe, and the SFMOMA.
Cahan’s mostly large scale paintings reflect a masterful sense of color, restraint and minimalism. The work has a sensibility of flat abstraction while containing spacial qualities formed by layers of subtle oils built to give dimensionality, where the viewer may sense peering through a window to sky or ocean, land or fog. The work has a zen-like abstract expressionist’s aesthetic which synchronizes refined surfaces, shifting color fields and loose grids into abstract landscapes of light. Other works harken back to cubism and geometric floating shapes or still life “Morandi-esque” compositions.