APRIL 29, 2011 - JUNE 18, 2011
VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present Striped Bare, an exhibition of new works by Meredyth Sparks. Striped Bare opens 29 April with a reception for the artist from 18.00 - 21.00 and remains on view through 18 June.
Meredyth Sparks' densely layered collage paintings are uncanny formalist inventions existing somewhere between figuration and abstraction. Her practice is resolutely formalist and informed by a dizzying array of sources within radical politics and music and the art historical avant-garde. Sparks' exhibition at VW - the artist's first solo exhibition in Berlin - presents an ambitious, entirely new body of work emphasizing her interests in Surrealism, popular music and the mundane decorative and functional elements of our domestic lives. Central to the exhibition are the artist's "extractions" - digitally printed paintings and compositions stitched together from photographs and patterned fabrics - which reconfigure pre-existing visual material to create a new image, a previously unknown visual space. Also on view are several new sculptures employing the concept of the ready-made as a source for abstract form.
Meredyth Sparks walks a delicate line between critique, honor and transcendence. A common theme to the works in Striped Bare is one with which the artist has long been fascinated, that of labor-based preoccupations or so-called "women's work" and its crossover into contemporary art. The stitched seams and commercially printed fabrics Sparks uses in her paintings evoke a highly practical, domestic function while also intimating the gender-based innovations of the Pattern and Decoration aesthetic in recent art history. Sparks seems to suggest a domestication of radical modernism, yet these works are also attempts at radical pictorial invention. In combining generic patterned fabrics (suggestive of infinite time and space) with photographic imagery (indicative of a particular time and place), an unexpected sense of displacement occurs in which the viewer is unsure what is painted or constructed, what is real or an illusion.
Striped Bare is Meredyth Sparks' first solo exhibition in Berlin. In 2009 Monografik Editions published the artist's first monograph, with texts by Nicolas Bourriaud and Robert Hobbs. In addition to solo gallery exhibitions in New York City, Paris, Brussels and Cologne, Meredyth Sparks recently participated in exhibitions at The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux; and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela. Meredyth Sparks lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.