Peter Cain: The Sean Pictures

Matthew Marks Gallery, New York

July 5 – August 12, 2005

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Peter Cain: The Sean Pictures, the next exhibition at his gallery at 523 West 24th Street. This will be the first time these pictures, which the artist made in 1996, will be exhibited since they were new. 

The Sean Pictures are the only works by Peter Cain to include the human figure. Completed in the last year of the artist's life, they depict his friend Sean on a Florida beach. The composition of figure, sand, and sky is painted with the same precise yet sensual surface of his better-known mutated automobile pictures, which he began painting in 1988. 

Included in the exhibition will be the three large-scale paintings in the Sean series, seven graphite drawings, and two photographic collages.

Cain's work occupies a unique place within his generation of artists. Heralded by curator Elizabeth Sussman as a re-inventor of realist painting, Cain began painting alongside such contemporaries as Elizabeth Peyton, John Currin, and Peter Doig. However, the cerebral hemorrhage that took the artist's life at age 37 cut short his promising career: after only a decade of painting, Cain left behind a total of just over 60 canvases. The Sean Pictures marked a move in a new direction for the artist, one which was brought to a tragic conclusion shortly after the canvases were completed.

Peter Cain was born in Orange, New Jersey, in 1959. Educated at the Parsons School of Design and then the School of Visual Arts, both in New York, Cain first exhibited his work in 1989. His work was included in several prominent group exhibitions, including the 1993 and 1995 Biennial Exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Peter Cain: The Sean Pictures will be on view at Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through August 12, 2005. Hours: Monday through Friday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.