Diptych: Photograph and oil on wood
Overall dimensions: 30,4 x 48 cm
This diptych is composed of a painted photograph and a painting on wood, both in small format: human figures, captured in close-up, take shape in the colour itself, mouths and eyes marked and yet expressionless.
On the left, a round face in shades of pink and white stands out, resting on—or hiding behind—its raised left hand. The mouth seems crudely made up; the closed, pensive eyes, covered in blue blush, stand out against the figure's spectral white complexion. On the right, a face with minimal, schematic features, empty eyes, and a forced smile, floats against a coral-red background, marked by a bluish horizon. The title of the work, lachversuch, means “attempt to laugh.”
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".