Oil on canvas
68 × 40 cm (26 3/4 × 15 3/4 in.)
This painting depicts a baby face on, a naked child whose floating, fragile silhouette seems to be set off against a soft, spring-like horizon. Its arms are spread out and its palms seem to be resting on the blurred surface of the representation, or is it simply the reclining figure of an infant holding out its arms? The same colour, a warmer pinkish-red, draws, as if by capillary action, hands and forearms, nipples and navel, grooves of the pubic area and of the genitals, like a network of blood and heat. The lower limbs trail and fade away in the lower part of the composition, becoming lost in the cold shades of a still tender green. The strangeness, the quasi-naivety of the posture, is accentuated by a wide-eyed, frozen, bluish gaze with surprisingly pronounced brows.
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".