Oil on wood
120 × 100 cm (47 1/4 × 39 3/8 in.)
This painting on wood represents a human figure, captured in close-up, which takes form in the colour itself. The shades of pink and red hollow out the different parts of the face, which are both simplified and emphasized: mouth, ears, skull, eye sockets...
The eyes are fixed and lifeless, eyebrows frowning, the mouth, with teeth marked in the paint, is set in a fixed grin. It is not clear whether this figure is threatening or threatened. The work is entitled Baumwesen (Tree beings) and one can indeed make out on this throat, from which a point of energy seems to spring, the birth of rootlets and vessels that thread their way to the foliage of this genie, like a mycelium.
Since the 1970s, Miriam Cahn's painting has taken form in a rich palette of colours that are both diaphanous and electrifying, showing us the human condition, particularly that of women and children, in its most violent and existential forms. There is an intensity in this artist's painting that makes her say that she paints as if she were performing. Her paintings are the manifestation of her political and feminist commitment, they embody her anger with a shocking impact.
Baumwesen is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in the "Ouverture" exhibition at the Bourse de Commerce in 2021.