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ELIZABETH DEE - Miriam Cahn

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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.

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