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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Sarah Cain

b. 1979, USA

Sarah Cain is a Los Angeles-based artist known for her abstract paintings and installations. Incorporating diverse materials such as fabric, sand, feathers, jewellery, crystals and ribbons, the bold graphic patterns and dynamic shapes in her work often resemble urban graffiti or the flashy textiles of a bygone era, while their neon-sunny, candy-like palettes conjure comparisons to her adopted California home.

To Cain, space is both physical and psychic; her practice is characterised by her moving beyond the canvas and extending her work to unconventional surfaces such as walls, floors and furniture. In her words, she is concerned with 'making work that is actively engaged with furthering and challenging what painting can be.' Early projects saw Cain painting on abandoned buildings in her native upstate New York; in 2002, she painted floorboards of an abandoned New York hotel in shades of red, and similarly in 2004, she completed an installation in a San Francisco squat. Such site-specific works have become central to her practice, a development Cain attributes to an early unease with making stand-alone objects. For her, working on-site was an attempt to eliminate control; as she says, 'by embracing the ephemeral, I had to think and act in the present tense.' For her major solo exhibition Dark Matter at Galerie Lelong (8 September–15 October 2016), Cain created a 3000-square-foot site-specific work that viewers could walk on while they viewed other works hung on the walls, bending the boundaries between painting and installation.

In 2011, Cain ccompleted a major site-specific work in a former Masonic lodge in Marfa, Texas, for Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND). Titled Forget me not, the installation spread across the first floor of the building and explored the imagery of the forgot-me-not flower, used by Masons and later by Nazis. Exploring belief systems, doubt and faith, the paintings spread across the building's walls and floors. One large painting even incorporated an overturned cupboard into its composition. Such recycling and inclusion of domestic furniture has become a mainstay of Cain's practice; couches, chairs and benches figure large in her recent works. In 2015, she painted in red splatters a seat that her neighbour abandoned after his wedding was called off, calling it love seat.

On view between September 2017 and March 2018, Cain presented a 40-foot-long, vivid patch-work painting installation at the courtyard entrance of the new Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Titled Now I'm going to tell you everything, the work was named after a poem written for the artist by Bernadette Mayer. Cain has also held solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California, and has been included in several museum group exhibitions and solo gallery exhibitions including Wild Flower at Timothy Taylor, London (18 April–2 June 2018).

Cain ran away from her rural home in upstate New York at 15 and studied painting in Paris, before transferring to San Francisco Art Institute and University of California, Berkeley, where she didn't study painting but kept it as her 'secret project'. In 1997, Cain moved to California, where she now lives and works in a home-studio. Cain paints every day, maintaining an astute sensitivity to colour and an openness to process. As she says, 'I believe in the painting showing me more than me telling the painting what to be.'

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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free fall by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah Cainfree fall, 2018 Acrylic and gel medium on canvas
152.4 x 121.9 x 8.9 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co.
Wild Flower by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah CainWild Flower, 2018 Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
152.4 x 121.9 cm
Timothy Taylor
Black Widow by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah CainBlack Widow, 2018 Acrylic, beads, gouache and prism on canvas
228.6 x 152.4 cm
Timothy Taylor
And the night never ended by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah CainAnd the night never ended, 2018 Acrylic, beads, gold and silver leaf and bells on canvas
182.9 x 152.4 cm
Timothy Taylor
sky and sea by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah Cainsky and sea, 2017 Acrylic, beads, mirror and nylon thread on canvas
90 x 60 inches
Galerie Lelong & Co.
Pyramid by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah CainPyramid, 2017 Crushed glass, acrylic and gouache on music sheet
22.5 x 17 inches
Galerie Lelong & Co.
deep blue by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah Caindeep blue, 2016 Acrylic on canvas
72 x 60 inches
Galerie Lelong & Co.
enter the center by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork Sarah Cainenter the center, 2016 Acrylic, chains, beads, and stick on canvas
61 x 54 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co.

Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Sarah Cain, Wild Flower at Timothy Taylor, London
Closed
18 April–2 June 2018 Sarah Cain Wild Flower Timothy Taylor, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Surface Work at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
11 April–16 June 2018 Group Exhibition Surface Work Victoria Miro, Mayfair, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Surface Work at Victoria Miro, London
Closed
11 April–19 May 2018 Group Exhibition Surface Work Victoria Miro, Wharf Road, London

Represented By

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An alternative history of abstract art Related Press An alternative history of abstract art Apollo Magazine : 25 May 2018

Surface Work, a survey show of women abstract artists across Victoria Miro’s Mayfair and Wharf Road galleries, reveals an alternative history of how much women have already achieved.From the examples of the more than 50 artists in this show–some relatively unknown and others household names–it is obvious that women approached abstraction with just...

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Surface Work review – women abstract artists dazzle in historic show Related Press Surface Work review – women abstract artists dazzle in historic show The Guardian : 15 April 2018

There are certain shows that change one's sense of art. Surface Work is one of them. Spread across two sites, it is nothing less than an anthology of abstract painting spanning an entire century, from early constructivism to post-digital sampling, in which every work holds its own and every work is by a woman. This is a rare and historic event.It...

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