press release

In a comprehensive survey of her oeuvre that represents the key phases of her artistic career, Swiss artist Miriam Cahn shows vibrant works on paper, oil paintings in bewitching colours, monumental sculptures, performative videos, and sketchbooks. The latter have never been on view to the general public before and have been assembled in a unique chronology and in a thematically expansive installation. In it the artist reinterprets the classical museum building as a sensual, conceptual construction while illustrating the artist‘s principles in regard to meaning, motifs, and aesthetics. Many works have been created especially for the exhibition or are key works in the possession of the artist.

Miriam Cahn is a leading figure in the art of her generation. Above all, her very convincing presentations in conjunction with documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel strongly underscore the overwhelming relevance of her work for today’s world. This is reason enough to again recall, for a broad audience, her diverse oeuvre and her resolute, radical artistic approach. A number of museums will be paying tribute to her artistic legacy in 2019: after the large solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bern, four further solo exhibitions will be mounted—at Kunsthaus Bregenz, Reina Sofia in Madrid, Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

The title Miriam Cahn has chosen for the exhibition—I AS HUMAN—revolves around the artist’s deliberate and implicit commitment toward humanistic principles and the question of what comprises humanity at present. The artist’s images and exhibitions articulate, in an unequivocal and palpably visible and cogent way, her preoccupation with war, displacement and gender relations as well as her investigation of violence, love and the fragility of nature. Because the artist is determining the hanging herself, the works can be read as a condensed commentary on and subjective interpretation of her own work and as a contemporary view of art and the world. A good reason for this is that Miriam Cahn, since beginning her artistic career, not only critically addresses political and social issues and events but equally engages with the question of the artistic methods she uses, her modes of expression and also the background and history of the media she selects. Self-determination in expression, methods and subject matter is her primary goal alongside the uncompromising confrontation with what is considered human in our time and age.

A publication in conjunction with the exhibition will be in both English and German: Miriam Cahn DAS ZORNIGE SCHREIBEN / Miriam Cahn WRITING IN RAGE Ed. Miriam Cahn, Hatje Cantz: Berlin 2019