Oil on canvas
41.2 x 50.4 cm
The title of this work translates as “refugee” in English, leaving little room for interpretation as to the identity of this human figure. A few strands of hair fall over the shoulders without attributing a gender to this androgynous bust. In the background, a horizon line emerges, shifting, indeterminate, contributing to the figure's strangeness and fragility. The cavernous, unfathomable eyes emerge from two glacier-blue halos, accentuating the spectral, supernatural character of the figure. In contrast, the features and shadows of the shoulders, neck, and face are executed more academically, their colour recalling sanguine nudes.
Since the 1970s, Miriam Cahn's art has been expressed through a rich palette of colours that are both diaphanous and electrifying. The artist's favourite theme is the human body and figure, most often through the representation of women and children. She works with an uncompromising nudity, instilled with a raw and overwhelming intrinsic femininity. There is an intensity in this artist's painting that makes her say that she paints as if she were performing. Her paintings are also the manifestation of her political and feminist engagement. The artist extends these gestures to the way she hangs her paintings and drawings.
This work is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in 2021, in the inaugural exhibition of the Bourse de Commerce, entitled "Ouverture".