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Painter sitting on the floor under purple paints she created.

These immersive installations were made in the Autumn of 2020, while social distancing in my house, where I paint in California. The paintings are poured, semi-matte acrylics that function less as voids and more as light-bouncing fields. The paint field is soaked into unprimed heavy tooth cotton duck and pinstriped, freehand, without the use of tape, projection or resist techniques.

While the work strives to present a kind of finish fetish through balance, weighting, perfectionism and an absence of visible brushstrokes, upon close examination the paintings are unapologetically flawed and show the hand of the maker in an attempt to harness the principles of the Japanese aesthetic of “wabi-sabi,” which suggests that things are their most beautiful when they show signs of irregularity, and in doing so, inspire a feeling of pleasurable melancholy. My Japanese maternal heritage has heightened my attempt to embody the silence and privacy of looking, the meditative practice and the rhythm of looking, and the communication of longing in my paintings.

As a painter whose practice has always focused on colour field principles, the multilayered vocabulary of colour embodies its most direct and universal value when it signifies a place of refuge and familiarity, as we collectively experience isolation and the obfuscation of clear solutions. The instruction, “Shelter in Place” — while conjuring an emergency, has also summoned a return to domesticity, intimacy, connection, simplicity, resourcefulness and tenderness.” – Sara Genn


Sara Genn is a Canadian-born artist living in California. She exhibits in Canada and the US, with collectors in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. She graduated with a BFA from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario in 1994. Genn has been showing her work professionally since the age of 18 and sold out her first solo exhibition at the age of 19.

Genn’s paintings have been featured in The Toronto Arts Council, Canadian House and Home, NYLON Japan, Town and Country, W, Domino, American Art Collector, New York Magazine, LONY, and Tatler, as well as in the Rizzoli publication New York Parties; Private Views and for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt. Sara Genn is also a composer and independent recording artist, certified Gold in France and publishes a twice-weekly letter on art that carries over fifty thousand direct subscribers.