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Music Book

ISBN: 9780998861692
Binding: Hardcover
Author: Sarah Cain
Pages: 64
Trim: 10.25 x 13.25 inches
Published: 7/10/2021

Music Book is a 64-page facsimile artist’s book by Sarah Cain, comprising a series of colorful abstractions painted directly over a collection of vintage sheet music. The original book of music was found in Switzerland and Cain’s paintings within collide with and respond to the previous owner’s handwritten notes. Music Book is an extension of Cain’s works on paper that balance her installation and large-scale painting practice: these works are intimate meditations; intricate and small-scale. 

Cain has been painting Music Book since 2008 and has carried it through three studios. “It is this journal of time that you can open up, start, close, put away, like a diary.” 

Music Book is co-published by X Artists' Books and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum on the occasion of Cain's exhibition, Sarah Cain—Enter the Center.


Sarah Cain is an artist who explores and expands upon traditional ideas of painting. Cain works on canvases of all sizes, often modifying surfaces by cutting and braiding, altering and disfiguring a composition until the original image is no longer recognizable. Sarah Cain earned her MFA at the University of California at Berkeley in California and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Aspen Art Museum; and Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh. Exhibitions of her work are being presented in 2021 at The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, the Momentary in Bentonville, Arkansas; and at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. A 2020 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter & Sculptors Grant, Cain currently lives and works in Los Angeles.