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Published on Nov 3, 2013
Miriam Cahn Solo Exhibition
Elizabeth Dee Gallery 545 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011
November 2nd - January 11th, 2014 Opening: November 2nd 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
"The figures represent themselves. Everything else is interpretation." -- Miriam Cahn
The gallery is pleased to present recent paintings with a pivotal series of drawings produced in 1983 by Miriam Cahn (b. 1949) the new recipient of the 2013 Basler Kunstpreis Award.
Miriam Cahn emerged into the European political and cultural scene in the early 1970s from her hometown of Basel, Switzerland. Cahn enacted private performances and drawings that merged notions of gender, the body, endurance, and public dissent. Politically active, Cahn joined the women's movement in Switzerland, working performatively and making drawings on the streets and highway underpasses of Basel where she was discovered by Jean-Christophe Ammann. She joined Galerie STAMPA, which at the time was as much a political affiliation as a gallery that was a hub for socially conscious innovations.
Cahn developed her work in the 1980s incorporating extremely large, black and rich drawings of warships, televisions, fighter jets and other seemingly male-dominated vernacular, that immediately engaged in discourse with Anselm Kiefer, Basquiat, Clemente and Immendorf, among others. She came to international prominence with three successive and unprecedented opportunities: an inclusion in Documenta 7 in 1982 (in which she removed her work out of protest), a solo show at Kunsthalle Basel, curated by director Jean-Christophe Ammann in 1983, and a solo presentation at the 41st Venice Biennale in 1984 representing her country of Switzerland. Decades later at age 50, Cahn made another radical move in her practice. She decided to leave the monumental drawings in which she became known, for an equally intuitive painting practice—a direct evolution and innovation of the result of 30 years of drawing and performing. Over the last 15 years Cahn's extraordinary range and iconography have been supported by the emotive potential of painting.