Marcelle Cahn
(1895, Strasbourg - 1981, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)

Marcelle Cahn spent all her childhooand youth in the studios where she learnt to draw, to paint, and to play violin and piano. Thanks to her mother, pianist and music enthusiast, she discovered, at a very young age, contemporary music including the one of Arnold Schônberg. From 1914 to 1918 she travelled, with her mother and cousin, to Berlin where her brother was on military service. There Marcelle visited the Lewin-Funke-Kunstschule in Charlottenburg with the teachers Eugene Spiro (portraits) and Lovis Corinth (nudes). In this town, Marcelle discovered with interest expressionist artists of the Sturm... In 1920 Marcelle stayed in Paris and  saw again and again Cézanne's works that represented for her the peak of  modern painting. She also frequented Arraujo's studio where she drew, painted and experimented with geometrical forms. Finally, she spent two months in the Académie Ranson and then came back to Strasbourg to continue her own researches independently.

In 1925, coming back to Paris, Marcelle frequented the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and practiced on nudes, still lives, cubist drawings and paintings.

The gallery owner Léonce Rosenberg took an interest in her works and put her in touch with Fernand Léger from the Académie Moderne and with Amédée Ozenfant. Marcelle also met such painters as Willi Baumeister, Léopold Survage, Tutundjian, Ossip Zadkine, Suzanne Valadon, Louise Hervieu, Michel Larionov, Natalia Gontcharova. In 1926, Marcelles participated to the exhibition of the Société Anonyme at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City "It was a fundamental exhibition, the first international exhibition on current trends of our time".

She also exhibited, from 1926, in the Salon des Artistes Indépendants.

In 1926, Michel Seuphor invited Marcelle Cahn in the group Cercle et Carré. She exhibited and met Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Piet Mondrian, Vassily Kandinsky, Georges Vantongerloo, Jean Gorin, Joaquín Torres García, etc.

In the thirties, Marcelle Cahn left the public artistic scene. During her short stays in Paris in 1932 and 1934, she didn't mentain her relations with the artists she knew.

Exhibitions selected


2011 - Marcelle Cahn, entre amis, Musée des Ursulines, Mâcon

2010 - Marcelle Cahn, l'artiste engagée, L'Espace de l'art Concret, Mouans-Sartoux
1986 - Thèmes et Variations, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Mulhouse
1972 - Exposition itinérante des oeuvres de Marcelle Cahn, Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris


Fondation Verbeke, Stekene, Belgium

Musée d'art moderne et contemporain Berardo, Lisboa
Musée des Beaux Arts, Dijon
Musée de Grenoble
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille
Musée des Beaux-Arts Nantes
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Musée Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Strasbourg