Sarah Cain: Super fun and not too complicated


Based in LA, Sarah Cain makes large scale paintings and site-specific installations that focus on love, relationships, and a muscular form of femininity. This fall, CAM Raleigh invited Cain to take over its gallery, and the result is “The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” on view through January 3. For the project, Cain splashed, sprayed, and rolled vivid color on the walls, marked intermittently with floor to ceiling Xs, and placed a bunch of double beds (mattresses with box springs, no bed frames or wheels) in the center of the space.

 Sarah Cain, “The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” detail.
  Sarah Cain, “The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” detail.

  Sarah Cain, “The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” detail. This single mattress, mounted on the wall (evoking Robert Rauschenberg’s 1955 legend, Bed) and painted with a target graphic that recalls Kenneth Noland, was the focal point of the installation. Perhaps Cain intends the wall-mounted bed as a symbol for the artist, who, driven to make art, is destined to sleep alone?

  Sarah Cain, “The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” detail.

I liked looking at Cain’s paint spattered walls while lying in bed, but the installation
seemed long on energy and short on ideas. The project might have been
more compelling in a smaller space; at this scale, the major focus
seemed to be on covering square footage and accessorizing here and there with paint-soaked towels, giant Xs (yes, kisses), and other trinkets. Still, I left feeling that “The Imaginary Architecture of Love” presents a young woman’s fantasy of love (and art): sort of messy, but super fun and not too complicated.

Bonus Video: A 2013 studio visit with Cain in her Highland Park home produced by MOCAtv.

Sarah Cain: The Imaginary Architecture of Love,” CAM Raleigh, Raleigh, NC. Through January 3, 2016.

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Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.

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