Using the conventional ideas, means, and materials of painting, Sarah Cain has spent the last decade challenging these same conventions. Cutting, collaging and expanding paintings beyond their boundaries, she pushes at what painting is and can be, opening spaces for us as viewers to follow her into new territories of abstraction. Exploring color, depth, scale and emotion, Cain makes paintings on paper, canvas and walls. Though the scale of her work is at times architectural, Cain incorporates small found objects amid drawn and painted gestures. As a result, the visual experience of her work is immersive. Cain's new paintings for the Dallas Art Fair feature bold gestures and brilliant colors as well as collage elements like seashells, crystals and metallic thread that invite close looking. Diminutive works on book covers that have been emptied of their texts feature hypnotic gouache paintings layered with gold leaf and seashells. Emerging from her use of objects in her paintings and her inclusion of found objects in her ephemeral site-specific works, dresser pairs a painted canvas with a found chest of drawers. This painting-sculpture hybrid contrasts monochromatic black areas with brightly-hued squiggles, stripes and mazes in a continuous three-dimensional surface for painting. Part of the same body of work, loveseat is on view as part of the current permanent collection rotation at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Cain's 2013 painting synchronized dreaming is also on view in the permanent collection galleries at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin.
Sarah Cain was born in Albany, New York in 1979 and lives in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and a MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented two exhibitions featuring Cain's work to date: freedom is a prime number (2012) and BOW DOWN (2015). One-person exhibitions of her work have been presented at the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, Raleigh, NC (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2015); Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Los Angeles, CA (2014); Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum Bloom Projects, Santa Barbara, CA (2011); and the San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco, CA (2004).
Cain's work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Now-ism: Abstraction Today, Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH (2014); Outside The Lines, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2013); Painting in Place, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Los Angeles, CA (2013); PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2013); Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Nothing Beside Remains, LAND: Marfa, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Two Schools of Cool, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2011); 2008 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008); SECA Art Award Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2007); and Like Color in Pictures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2007).
Cain has been the recipient of various awards and grants including The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2011, 2007); Durfee Grant (2008); and the SECA Art Award, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006).