Los Angeles–based painter Sarah Cain (born 1979) works on canvases of all sizes, often modifying them by cutting and braiding, painting on all sides and installing the canvas with the back of the painting facing the viewer. She also paints on other surfaces, including interior and exterior walls, floors and dollar bills. She uses vivid colors and shapes, and often includes found objects such as jewelry, pompoms, hula hoops and other items to which she has a personal attachment.
Cain’s process often involves altering and disfiguring a composition until the original image is no longer recognizable. The creation and destruction of her paintings is part of Cain’s process that, in part, revolves around self-discovery. Cain describes herself as a feminist painter, using elements that are traditionally seen as feminine and “girly” as an act of nonconformity and antipathy to the patriarchal hierarchies of painting. “Almost everything about Cain’s paintings—their speed, their brashness, their noodling compositions, their splashes and spray-painted scribbles, their tacky accouterments, their sense of absurdity—seems to undermine the gravitas that large-scale painting traditionally projects,” wrote Jonathan Griffin, in the New York Times.
Sarah Cain: Enter the Center features new writings and previously unpublished photographs and documentation of dozens of artworks with a focus on the last decade of Cain’s exuberant and unique paintings and installations.