Frequently composing at the scale of architecture, the artist Sarah Cain seeks out new territories for abstract painting. With wit, irreverence, and a palette informed by California sunshine, Cain fearlessly works against the grain of a tradition- and history-bound medium to envision what a painting can be and how it can be encountered. Through her art, she manifests the value of responding to a place or a situation from a fresh perspective.
For the Colby Museum Cain created hand in hand, an on-site painting covering the full expanse of the William D. Adams Gallery floor and creating an environment for an arrangement of the artist’s paintings on canvas and painted furniture. In a space that functions as the gateway to the galleries, this ambitious installation is immersive and reorienting, manifesting the synergy of togetherness—a whole greater than the sum of its parts—through diverse but unified imagery.
Born in 1979, Cain grew up in upstate New York and has lived and worked in California since the late 1990s (she is currently based in Los Angeles). She received a bachelor of fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, a master of fine arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Cain’s works are in major museum collections; her commissions include Walk Right Up to the Sun, a major work in stained glass for the San Francisco International Airport, and My favorite season is the fall of the patriarchy, a site-responsive installation for the National Gallery’s East Building Atrium. Cain has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Momentary at Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, Arkansas; and the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.
Click on any image above to see captions and view larger.