Sarah Cain "Dark Matter" @ Galerie Lelong
Advancing her constant search into new territories of abstraction and the possibilities of painting, Sarah Cain will transform Galerie Lelong with her first monumental floor painting that will cover and activate the entire 2,500 square foot exhibition space. By inviting viewers to step on top of the site-specific work, Cain further explores the boundaries between painting, sculpture, and installation. A dozen new paintings that recontextualize the conventional limits of the medium will also be on view.
Dark Matter, an invisible material with mysterious properties that hypothetically constitutes much of the universe, serves as a metaphor for Cain’s artistic process. Looking beyond the traditional notion of painting within the frame, Cain utilizes abstraction and spatial interventions to capture invisible, yet palpable emotions, personalities and experiences. Known for creating work that responds to architecture and the built environment, Cain embraces the relationship of psychological and physical space by encouraging viewers to be fully present and immerse themselves within her work.
The experience and scale of Dark Matter is immense. As the viewer becomes subsumed in Cain’s world, the poetry of it is uncovered, allowing for a personal engagement with the artist’s bodily and emotional involvement with her work. The unabashed nature of the artist’s hand is difficult to ignore as angles and perspectives shift while moving through the colorful work. The viewer is surrounded by mark-making that ranges from loose and lively to highly controlled. Cain continues to explore where painting can go by employing varying techniques in the work to create airbrushed and gestural lines, splashes and stripes, and geometric forms.
In addition to the installation, Dark Matter brings together a dozen new paintings. Cain’s uninhibited use of pigment and found materials such as chain link, sunglasses, pinwheels, and prisms reveal her confrontation and challenge of the traditional tenets of painting. In using a broad spectrum of color and freedom within the media, Cain’s paintings hold the risk and ambition seen in her site works in a much more intimate scale. "Loopy" (2016) presents a cohesive balance between the frenzied movement of thrown paint in the background and the contemplative wandering line in the foreground. The picture plane is also disrupted by a camouflaged hanging bundle of torn canvas; like hair, it imbues the painting with a near-corporeal presence. These moments of visual slip bring humor, a sense of magic, and at times a reference back to the viewer’s own body.