Diptych: Oil on canvas, pigment and pastel on paper
Oil on canvas: 30.4 × 23.5 cm (11 15/16 × 9 1/4 in.); Pastel on paper: 32 × 24 cm (12 5/8 × 9 7/16 in.)
This work is a diptych made up of small formats: an oil on canvas and a pastel drawing, one of which represents a human face from the front, the other a long-beaked profile. These two figures are captured in a state of fusion in a very tight frame, seemingly taking shape in the matter and light of full colours. On the left, a fiery face, with a gaze that seems irradiated, suggests a mythological age of man, a fairy-tale deity with purple lips, closed, tight, silent. Represented by two cold, ethereal blue spots, the gaze seems both possessed and impenetrable. On the right, occupying almost exactly the same surface on the black pastel background, a bird-like figure with a beak edged in red, its neck represented by a thickened line, in dabs of an intense, gushing blue.
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".