Max Cahn’s paintings invite a sense of reality through perspective and traces of representation, yet over time they are unsettled as physical brush marks and thick wet-on-wet impastos that are sticky and viscous break through any sense of realism, allowing no certainties of interpretation.

As the image builds, we are left with these visual echoes of things found in the real world; some objects seem curiously familiar, while others remain more elusive. Suggestions of the everyday and familiar are stripped back to the barest point of cognition, becoming easily misconstrued.

Starting points for the paintings can come from a sub-conscious doodle or rough drawing; however, more often than not they begin straight on the canvas allowing the image to unfold and realise itself.

Half-discerned recollections and associations, fragments of thoughts, fleeting sensations and emotions; these are the source material. Trawling the memory banks of his own existence, Max Cahn endeavours to give tangible form to intangible experience; to make real and communicable, that which is ephemeral and private.

We are encouraged to project ourselves into the work; with open spaces, incomplete forms, gaps or breaches that invite the viewer to step in. Leaving us to wrestle with certain components, just as the painter wrestled with the same elements when making the work.

Max Cahn (b.1978) lives and works in Cardiff. Having graduated from Falmouth College of arts (BA) in 2000 and Bath Spa University (MFA) 2007, his work has been exhibited throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

installation shopts 2012 028


Max Cahn (B. 1978) Birmingham, England


1996 – 1997 – Bournville College of Arts (Foundation Diploma)

1997 – 2000 – Falmouth College of Arts (BA Hons)

2006 – 2007 – Bath Spa University (MFA)

Group Exhibitions:

2022 – ART OF THE TABLE, Cardiff M.A.D.E, Cardiff

2021 – Without Borders Project, Elysium Gallery Swansea, touring show, Japan, USA, Venice and Canada

2021 – Thing Worlds, Art Spot Korin, Kyoto, Japan

2020 – Beep Painting Biennial, Swansea

2020 – This Year's Model 2020, Studio 1:1 Gallery, London

2019 – GIFC Velvet Ropes Series, House of Vans, London

2018 – Beep Painting Biennial, Swansea

2018 – Skewed Pop Up Exhibition, Cardiff

2016 – WWOOMAFAABSU, G11, OXO Tower Wharf, London

2015 – Summer Open, Oriel Q, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire

2013 – Exeter Contemporary Open 2013, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter (Audience Choice Award Winner)

2012 – Surface disturbances, Searchers Gallery, Bristol

2012 – Birth, PAK Gallery, Gistel, Belgium

2012 – WW Solo Award 2012, WW Gallery, London

2011 – Marmite Painting Prize, The Nunnery, London

2011 – Marmite Painting Prize,Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry

2010 – Marmite Painting Prize, Central Art Gallery, Tameside Manchester

2010 – Mijn Wereld-My World, Sint-Pieters Getekend, Brugge, Belgium

2009 – Sint-Pieters Getekend 09, Sint-Pieters Getekend, Brugge, Belgium

2008 – Shortlisted for stage 2 of John Moores 25

2008 – The Post Graduate Contemporary Art Show,The Atkinson Gallery

2006 – Hide & Seek, Mivart Studios, Bristol

2004 – Carmen Torrallardona Gallery, Andorra la vella, Andorra

2003 – Annual Sound and Art Festival, Alicante, Spain

Solo Exhibitions:

2015 – Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Back Wall Series

2015 – Cafe Bar Exeter Pheonix Gallery

2003 – Chringuito Ipanema, Playa Arenales, Spain

2002 – Loft Gallery, Alicante, Spain

2001 – Fleart Gallery, Brixton London


2010 – The Marmite Painting Prize

2010 – Mijn Wereld-My World


2013 – Express and Echo, Contest draws top art talent

2004 – El Periodico, Max Cahn el pintor viatger