Peter Cain finished before he died of a brain hemorrhage, in 1997, at the age of 37. His output, though limited, was distinguished as much by his style as by his subject matter. While other artists in New York were preoccupied with politics and identity, he turned, instead, to cars, which he painted as handsome, truncated abstractions. One work depicts a Nissan Pathfinder turned on its side, missing its doors, with one wheel enlarged to comic proportions. Toward the end of his career, Cain's interest widened, appropriately, to gas stations, which he painted with a realist's relish. Yet there have been few opportunities to see his work in New York; now, in celebration of the publication of the first monograph on Cain's work, Matthew Marks offers a career survey of twelve paintings and more than thirty drawings made between the late Eighties and 1997.
Peter Cain, Glider (detail), 1995. © Peter Cain / Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.
Sixty-three paintings: That's how many pictures