Elizabeth Dee is pleased to present Miriam Cahn’s second solo exhibition following her long-awaited return to New York earlier this year in her debut with the gallery. This exhibition will focus on Cahn’s painting practice spanning three decades. A beloved and historically significant voice in Switzerland, Cahn represented her home country at the 41st Venice Biennale in 1984.
In Drawing Room Confessions Issue #3, a journal published in conjunction with Cahn’s current exhibition with the David Roberts Art Foundation in London, Cahn describes how her investigations in film, drawing, books, and performance inevitably led to making paintings. Growing up with black and white television and experiencing art history through books with black and white plates brought Cahn to rule out color as an unnecessary complication in her early career. Color signified wealth since few could afford to print in color.
Years later, Cahn began producing paintings in color for the first time. Cahn’s psychosomatic color palette is generational, influenced by the hyperreality of color experience depicted in artificially colored films like Michelangelo Antonioni’s, Il deserto rosso (1964). The idiosyncratic quality of her paintings comes from a decision to paint what the brain perceives as reality. The figure, animal, or landscape becomes reduced to a few brutal performative gestures in some paintings while areas of sensitive but deliberate rendering exist in others.
A rigorous decision-making process results in psychologically complex and historically ambiguous works. She might decide upon a predetermined amount of time - a matter of hours, a night, a week - to feverishly complete a body of work from scratch. When she returns to the pieces, she never makes adjustments; rather, she edits: approving or rejecting her creations wholesale. While retaining the spontaneity and power of her drawings, films, and performances, Cahn’s paintings speak to the development of color images in television, film, and print-production from her mid-century childhood to today.
This is Miriam Cahn's second exhibition at Elizabeth Dee. Select exhibitions include David Roberts Art Foundation (2011, solo); Galerie Meyer Riegger, Berlin/Karlsruhe (2009, solo); Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris (2009, solo); David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2009); Kirchner Museum, Davos, Switzerland (2006, catalog); MGK Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2006); Fundación La Caixa, Madrid, Spain (2003, solo, catalog); Castello di Rivara, Centro d'Arte Contemporanea, Rivara, Italy (1999, solo); ICA London (1997); Kunsthaus Zürich (1993, solo, catalog); Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (1992); 5th Sydney Biennial (1986); 41st Venice Biennale (1984); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1984); Kunsthalle Basel (1983, solo); Documenta 7, Kassel (1982), STAMPA, Basel (1981, 1979, 1977, solos)
Drawing Room Confessions is a journal initiated by Manuela Ribadeneira and Vincent Honoré and founded in 2011 in London by Vincent Honoré, Benjamin Reichen and Manuela Ribadeneira.