Over the last five years Sarah Cale has honed a reputation for meticulous compositions made with the application of what she describes as "second-hand brushstrokes". In this process, Cale applies paint to temporary plastic surfaces, collecting an inventory of dried brushstrokes which are then transferred to linen or panel supports. Pictorial conventions that tend to be associated with representational painting - namely the illusionary depiction of space - are revisited and problematized by Cale's process. If multiple strokes of paint are treated like planes which never truly intersect do they still constitute a painting? Can a painting which seeks to represent only the process by which it's made also speak to intangibility?
Cale's recent work foregrounds the influence of collage within a practice which might be seen as a form of productive cannibalism. Canvases, once painted, are cut apart to annotate or propagate other works. This process illuminates the search for something other than reconstitution or equilibrium. In Cale's work, the gestural mark or brushstroke is always fugitive. It becomes a shifty, unreliable thing that invites us to see an aperture as a void and a portal as a question.
Sarah Cale received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Guelph. In 2009 and 2010 she was shortlisted for the RBC painting award and has been awarded numerous grants and residencies. Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2009), the Power Plant, Toronto (2010), Equinox Gallery, Vancouver (2012), Oakville Galleries, Oakville (2012) and Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal (2013) and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton (2014).