Oil on canvas
45.8 × 38.6 cm (18 1/16 × 15 3/16 in.)
This oil on canvas depicts a woman's face, framed by brown hair or a dark veil, resting on her left hand. The blue eyes, blurred with green, look to the left of the painting. The lips seem half-open, as if frozen. In this composition, the hand framing the side of the face is reminiscent of the hands in Munch's Scream. By titling the work sarajevo, Miriam Cahn evokes the consequences of the war in ex-Yugoslavia and in particular exile and migrants. From armed conflicts in Iraq, Europe, and elsewhere to the current refugee crisis, the Swiss artist often chooses to highlight through her painting these major geopolitical upheavals with universal consequences.
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".