Transcendence Design Contemporary, Santa Fe
Charlotte Cain's decades of meditation and art-making as a sacred process manifesting silence infuse her art. In addition to an NEA Artist grant, she has traveled, lived, and created artworks in India and Nepal as a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow. Artist Agnes Martin collected Charlotte's paintings. Her work references Indian and Islamic miniature painting, fabric art traditions, South Asian folk and tribal iconography, and contemporary minimalist painting. Her poetic, iconic gems bring beauty, silence, and joy.
"My use of the brush is inspired by exercises given to me by two master miniaturists, the late Bannu Sharma of Jaipur and Vijay Sharma of Chamba. I use these courtly painting techniques to recreate a range of images the spiritual energy of which has moved me during my many trips to India. These images include kolams and yantras, wayside and ritual symbols, geometric forms of tantric and modern origin, and pattern elements from fabric design. I structure my paintings with reference to the spare and symmetrical compositions of American transcendental abstract painters including Mark Rothko and my dear friend, the late Agnes Martin. I find inspiration in the minimal works of these painters to express my experience of an unmodulated silence that seems to underlie everything I see, hear, and feel. I can best articulate my experience of silence by being open to all possibilities that arise while I am painting, by avoiding ideas and working intuitively, one step at a time, so that each painting is ultimately about the process of painting itself. While painting spontaneously in symmetrical abstract formats, realizing images I remake from traditional Indian symbols, I hope to create works of art in which viewers can re-enact the experience of silence that above all else brings me delight in the play of painting."
B.S., Painting and Education, Rhode Island School of Design, 1963
Visiting Artist, Art Institute of Chicago, 1979
Painted with master miniaturists, Bannu Sharma, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India and Vijay Sharma, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India, 1996-1997
Grants and Awards:
Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to India and Nepal, 2005-2006
$10,000 Artist‘s Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1980-1981
First Prize, McNeider Museum, Mason City, Iowa, 1980
Selected One-Person Shows of Paintings:
Transcendence Design Contemporary, Santa Fe 2010, 2011, 2012
George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco, 2009
Widener Gallery, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, 2009
Icon, Fairfield, Iowa 2009, 2006, 2006, 2004
The Attic, New Delhi, India 2008
Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India, 2007-8
Des Moines Art Center, 2007
Experimental Arts Gallery, Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India, 2006
Sherry Leedy, Kansas City, 2006
Nancy Lurie Gallery, Chicago, 1992
Stella Polaris Gallery, Los Angeles, 1982
Roger Litz Gallery, New York, 1982
Public Collections: Museum of Jnana-Pravaha, Varanasi, India. William Benton Museum. University of Connecticut. Rockefeller Collection. Chase Manhattan Bank, New York. Prudential Insurance Corporation of America, Washington, D.C.