SARAH CAIN blue in your body, red when it hits the air
With SARAH CAIN blue in your body, red when it hits the air, MCASD presents Los Angeles-based artist Sarah Cain’s first solo museum project. Expanding the notion of the traditional solo exhibition, her paintings on canvas appear next to works by other artists—all selected by Cain, from her personal collection, borrowed from her peers, and from the Museum’s permanent collection. Together, they create a constellation of Cain’s most central concerns and influences, and a kind of portrait of her work and practice.
At its root, Cain’s work aims to coax painting, as a medium, into unbridled territories. She contends with abstract painting’s fraught history, its broad and fertile present, and its potential future. Her work at once borrows from the lineage’s artistic strategies and enacts a disruption in its traditional formal and ideological constraints. Cain investigates painterly concerns such as color, form, and the space of the canvas, while imbuing them with flares of emotional, psychological, relational, and bodily forces. The works speak at once to painting as a medium and a lived experience.
Many of Cain’s strokes, drips, and flat planes of paint recall movements past—largely male-dominated genres—while her specific colors, pleasurable and redolent of popular culture, music, fashion, and perceived grounds of femininity, invoke an artist navigating her lived world. Braided string, plastic crystals, and beads; she folds into her paintings objects that function on a purely formal level, while simultaneously invoking an intimate specificity. They serve as ambiguous totems to trigger memory and emotion.
blue in your body, red when it hits the air includes selections from the Museum’s permanent collection by Ana Mendieta, Alfred Jensen, John Divola, and Fred Sandback. Also featured are works from Cain’s collection by Regina Bogat and Beatrice Wood, as well as a sculpture on loan from Andrea Zittell.
SARAH CAIN blue in your body, red when it hits the air is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and made possible by proceeds from the 2014 Biennial Art Auction. Institutional Support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.