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Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World Ocula Conversation Hito Steyerl: How To Build a Sustainable Art World

'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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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.'

Biography by Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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waves by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork
Sarah Cainwaves, 2016 Acrylic and beads on canvas
152.4 x 121.9 cm
Lehmann Maupin
lock down by Sarah Cain contemporary artwork
Sarah Cainlock down, 2018 Acrylic, bike lock, and beads on canvas
156.2 x 127 x 10.2 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. New York
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. New York
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. New York
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. New York

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, cart, horse, cart at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
20 June–17 August 2019 Group Exhibition cart, horse, cart Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, cart, horse, cart at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
20 June–17 August 2019 Group Exhibition cart, horse, cart Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Sarah Cain, Wild Flower at Timothy Taylor, London
Closed
18 April–2 June 2018 Sarah Cain Wild Flower Timothy Taylor, London

Represented By

In Related Press

Sarah Cain at Honor Fraser Related Press Sarah Cain at Honor Fraser Art in America : 1 April 2019

In Sarah Cain's exhibition The Sun Will Not Wait, hypnotic candy-colored abstractions appeared in multiple guises. Thirteen mostly large-scale paintings on canvas featuring gestural marks, geometric shapes, and various objects—beads, photographs, small trinkets—hung on the walls.

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The ones to watch at the first ever Frieze Los Angeles Related Press The ones to watch at the first ever Frieze Los Angeles Tatler : 13 February 2019

February in LA has long been a permanent fixture in the calendars of the world's elite, who use awards season as a welcome excuse to escape the dreary drizzle in Europe and the biting cold on the East Coast. But now there's a new reason to be in Tinseltown this month: the launch of the first ever Frieze Los Angeles.

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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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