MITThe Dean's Gallery
. . .
Amy Cain: Up From Eden

June 22, 2000 - August 25, 2000

Curated by Michelle Fiorenza

Discovering that, as an artist, I can only create images that are about myself has freed me to work in a spontaneous and impulsive manner. I am inspired by botanical and other organic subjects. When I begin a piece, I usually choose an object from the many Iıve made or have collected while outside of my urban environment. Containing vivid memories, each of them has a story which draws them closer to me, as subjects. This holds my interest, as I work, embellishing them, transforming them , providing an environment and a permanance, represented on a flat surface. Coming from a surrealist sensibility, often the paintings are broken up into small areas of form, shape and color. I work back and forth between areas, enjoying the interplay, thinking of the painting as having a dialogue going on between smaller paintings on the nearby surface. Having once been strictly a printmaker, I am compelled to lift oil painted areas or use stencils to apply them to other parts of the work sometimes creating layers and repetition, as in monotype. Small prints and printing plates may be collaged on to works. Recently, I have begun building three-dimensional surfaces on which to apply the paint, noticing that for me, they become like boxes, more ³object-like², themselves. Larger painting on canvas resulted from a project designing a table covering which developed into a deeper commitment and then, intentionally, a wall piece.

My response to living in my urban environment is a major influence on me as I work in my studio. I have noticed a need to think often and make work about quieter, controlled environments, as a respite from the ³clutter² and, at times, harshness of day to day life. I see sharp edges in my pieces, imagining, only, that sorting out my long held ambivolence can creep out, like a double edged knife, or a leaf that may cut just as it charms. As acknowledged above, we can only create from what we know. A dichotomy exists, a need to juxtapose one idea against another, to work at balancing many important things and make space for dialogue, noticing the inner one we all have and giving it a chance to see where it goes.

I love to make things and to paint what I see in my mindıs eye. Itıs like a garden, choosing colors, providing a place to experiment with lots of materials and take an excursion into unknown territory, making something where there was nothing. Sometimes itıs Eden.

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