Mulherin is pleased to present The Golden Age, new work by Michael Caines. 

Michael Caines's recent paintings of dogs, cats and human figures slyly reference minimalist painting and seventeenth century Dutch portraiture, presenting the viewer with subtly satirical portraits of animals and humans who are at once inviting and incredulous. While his portraits of animals offer the viewer an intimacy more often reserved for human images, his paintings of men, in counterpoint, present unexpected icons of masculinity. In this work, Caines's palate is radically reduced to blacks and grays, or punched up with intense fields of color in paintings that complicate our understanding of the artist's relationship to nature and desire: a connection that expresses a longing for, and alienation from, the "otherness" of the animal world. 

Caines borrows from "golden" ages of historical painting, both utilizing and satirizing Modernist rigor and Dutch austerity. His remarkably deft paint handling is on display as he paints with a gravitas rarely seen in poodle portraiture. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, his work proposes that staring into the eye of a squirrel, as it is rendered by Caines, is to confront the human condition at its most profound and ridiculous. 

The New York City based artist Michael Caines holds a MFA from Parsons the New School of Design in New York. He has been selected for a number of artist residencies, including: the Santa Fe Art Institute, the Millay Colony in New York State, the Jentel Art Foundation in Wyoming and The Bemis Center in Omaha. Among other awards, he has received Avery and Chalmers Fellowships. Caines's active exhibition history includes frequent shows in public, artist run and commercial galleries in Canada and the United States, and numerous international art fairs with Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. His book, Revelations & Dog, a graphic version of the Book of Revelation, was released in the spring of 2011. A ten year survey of his animal/human themed work, Wild/Tame, was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Peterborough in 2011