Female Artists Pack a Punch at Frieze NY 2014
Image rights: Courtesy Meyer Riegger
Miriam Cahn makes intimate, haunting paintings and drawings of semi-ambiguous figures, animals, and landscapes imbued with quiet emotion. Influenced by the black-and-white images she was exposed to through early television and reproductions in art history textbooks, Cahn used only black, white, and shades of gray in her early work. She began using color in 1994, turned on to the formal and psychological power of mass media imagery and its gradual saturation. She cites Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 film Il deserto rosso (Red Desert) as a work that exposed her to the hyper-reality of color. With exquisite sensitivity, Cahn uses color to highlight choice parts of her figures—principally the genitals, breasts, lips, or eyes—suggesting fragility and fecundity and endowing her figures with a sense of inner life.
Swiss, b. 1949, Basel, Switzerland, based in New York, New York