Brobdingnagian ocular hubbub. Colossus of hue and scream. Tympanic boom. These phrases leapt to mind — of course they did! — as I eyed Sarah Cain’s work. Confession though: Cain owns me for rejecting the term “murals” in favor of “wall paintings.” Call an abattoir a slaughter house is the principle I chase.
Cain’s paintings trouble received ideas of what serious art looks like. Almost everything about them — 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.
“She’s a gloriously unsatisfied painter,” says Ian Berry, director of the Tang and curator of Cain’s exhibition there.
(Jonathan Griffin, “With Big, Bold Art, Sarah Cain Redefines Seriousness in Painting,” NYTimes, 9-30-21)
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