Miriam Cahn

Born in Basel, Switzerland, 1949. Lives and works in Basel and Bergell (GR), Switzerland. Miriam Cahn was part of the generation that, at a young age, witnessed the footage of nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll; influenced by the further historical context of the scientists–predominantly Jewish, like Cahn–who both invented the atom bomb and opposed its use. Cahn has repeatedly painted watercolors taking the discord between the beauty and the ethics of the atom bomb as their theme. Her oil paintings, on the other hand, include a number of themes, such as humans, plants and animals, and architecture, each of which is explored individually. In her images of humans, in particular, people are at times painted in vibrant colors standing motionless against dusky toned landscapes. Cahn’s paintings, which lack the clear, explicit lines used to bring out individual beings, might be understood as hinting toward harmonization or fusion, rather than strict boundaries. They confront their viewers, however, with a cold, salvationless world, questioning the nature of humans under the difficult situations in this era of uncertainty.

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