was mich anschaut
Pigment and water on paper
Overall dimensions: 74 × 330 cm (29 1/8 × 129 15/16 in.)
The title of this work, which consists of six drawings of unequal size, means “what looks at me.” The first drawing represents a hybrid, a cross between a cat and an owl, while the following five drawings are androgynous human figures without hair. The naked, exposed flesh, as if afflicted, is suggested by red and blue transparencies, while the animal seems to have fur or feathers. The six pairs of deep blue eyes stare at us, expressionless, devoid of individuality, sucking us in, inscrutable, further accentuating the ghostly presence of this gallery of anonymous people.
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".