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.
Form and the painted mark remain vital, as does the expressive capacity of the gestural mark. With the use of subtle references to the visible world, abstracted shapes and marks express a more complex and potent subjective experience; yet they always somehow remain allusive with 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.
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)
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
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