Language and login selector start
Language and login selector end

Solo show: Miriam Cahn - Lachen bei Gefahr (over)

28 September 2012 until 25 November 2012
  Miriam Cahn - Lachen bei Gefahr
Miriam Cahn, in den Bergen denken, 2001
 
  Badischer Kunstverein

Badischer Kunstverein
Waldstr. 3
76133 Karlsruhe
Germany (city map)

Send E-mail
tel +49-(0)721 - 28 226
www.badischer-kunstverein.de


Badischer Kunstverein is pleased to present the largest exhibition in Germany to date by Swiss artist Miriam Cahn. A selection of works will be shown across all three levels of the building, ranging from the late 1970s to today. Though Cahn predominately works with the format of oil painting, she also explores the mediums of drawing, performance, film, and photography. The themes found in Cahn’s pictures revolve around femininity, sexuality, love, violence, or destruction.

Influenced by performance art and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Miriam Cahn’s approach to art proves radical and unconventional. Evading the usual criteria used to classify artists, especially when it comes to her selection of working methods, Cahn pursues a tenacious interplay between her various formats, which she frequently joins together as densely constellated “clusters” in the exhibition setting.

Cahn initially delved into drawing before turning to color and oil painting in the early 1990s. She has repeatedly emphasized how drawing, with its more transient character, offers a welcome counterpole to the conventional conception of the oil painting as an autonomous, self-contained artwork shadowed by chiefly male connotations. In this respect, Cahn’s drawing practice may be considered a feminist one in that she spawned her large-format drawings with the full force of her body, crawling on hands and knees, sometimes even in the nude and with eyes closed. Movement and performance are key concepts in her art, with the body becoming the pivotal moment—not only as motif in the representations, but also as medium of its execution. As the artist proclaimed in an earlier work, “my womanhood is the public facet of myself,” and she accordingly oriented the rhythm of her work to the female cycle: works that centered on menstruation and ovulation came to life, and pictorial motifs were divided into male and female categories.

In her approach to painting, Cahn remains faithful to the process-oriented character of drawing by initiating pictures without carefully charting the direction ahead of time, sometimes following an imaginary image or the memory of a dream. And though Cahn’s painting may be characterized as figurative, her bodies, faces, plants, and animals are never executed with attention to every detail. While some aspects of anatomy are realistically modeled, others remain sketchy or show a silhouette that spectrally disappears into an uncertain background. Not infrequently, concrete political events find expression in Cahn’s various paintings, including the wars in Beirut (1982), in Iraq (1991), or in Sarajevo (1992). Besides weapons or warships as recurring (male) motifs, her pictures also reflect aerial views of nuclear power plants or test sites, or vibrant watercolors of atomic explosions. Yet Miriam Cahn’s images are not political in the sense of illustrating topics; indeed, their political air arises from lending themselves to interpretation as the expression of a subjective sense of discomfort regarding precarious social and political affairs.

The exhibition LACHEN BEI GEFAHR gathers a variety of works selected by the artist with close consideration of the Kunstverein’s spatial relations. Alongside her large-format chalk drawings bright individual pictures encounter series created in oil, aquarelle, pastel, or watercolor. A separate exhibition section presents the artist’s performative and text-based works—formats that have previously received less attention—along with her filmic work in Super-8. LACHEN BEI GEFAHR encompasses more than 30 years of artistic creation in the life of Miriam Cahn. Despite numerous invitations, both in Switzerland and abroad, with such important stops as documenta 7 in Kassel or the 41st Venice Biennale, her artwork has not been shown as a solo exhibition in Germany for quite some time. This will now be remedied by the comprehensive exhibition in Karlsruhe.

Supported by Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

www.miriamcahn.com

Influenced by performance art and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Miriam Cahn's approach to art proves radical and unconventional. Evading the usual criteria used to classify artists, especially when it comes to her selection of working methods, Cahn pursues a tenacious interplay between her various formats, which she frequently joins together as densely constellated "clusters" in the exhibition setting.
Cahn initially delved into drawing before turning to color and oil painting in the early 1990s. She has repeatedly emphasized how drawing, with its more transient character, offers a welcome counterpole to the conventional conception of the oil painting as an autonomous, self-contained masterwork shadowed by chiefly male connotations. Movement and performance are key concepts in her art, with the body becoming the pivotal moment of its execution. In this respect, Cahn spawned her large-format drawings with the full force of her body, crawling on hands and knees, sometimes even in the nude and with eyes closed.

The exhibition LACHEN BEI GEFAHR gathers a variety of works selected by the artist with close consideration of the Kunstverein's spatial relations. Alongside her large-format chalk drawings, bright individual pictures encounter series created in oil, aquarelle, pastel, or watercolor. A separate exhibition section presents the artist's performative and text-based works along with her filmic work in Super-8.
Despite numerous invitations, both in Switzerland and abroad, with such important stops as documenta 7 in Kassel or the 47th Venice Biennale, Miriam Cahn's artwork has not been shown as a solo exhibition in Germany for quite some time. This will now be remedied by the comprehensive exhibition in Karlsruhe.

Supported by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.

Miriam Cahn is represented by Elizabeth Dee/New York, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe/Berlin and Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris.

  • ArtFacts.Net - your experienced service provider

    Since its start in 2001, ArtFacts.Net™ developed a sophisticated artist database through its collaboration with international art fairs, galleries, museums and artists.