Knockdown Center is pleased to present a new work titled Quad Relay by Laurel Sparks as a part of the FiftyTwo Ft. series of commissioned wall-based artworks in the East Corridor.
Sparks’ abstract compositions are determined by elaborate systems informed by Kabbalistic diagrams, string figures, and mathematical poetry which provide options for painterly scaffolding with an interdependence of modular parts. These magical calculations create esoteric systems of correspondences that allow the artist’s paintings to generate themselves, yet she also seeks out the places where these systems break down. Irregularities, digressions, and stains disrupt the stable elegance of interlocking shapes, producing striking tensions between order and chaos.
Quad Relay is the artist’s largest work to date, and its compositional logic is derived from the sestina, a complex form of mathematical poetry structured by six stanzas organized in numbered sequences. Sparks assigns points and directional lines specific colors, numbers, and elements according to the sestina’s structure, creating a self-generating algorithm that determines the painting’s geometric tableaux. An irregular grid underlies the composition, producing an almost kinetic, shimmering presence akin to dazzle camouflage, refusing fixed identity and yielding instead to perceptual flux.
About Laurel Sparks
Laurel Sparks is a Brooklyn-based painter whose work embodies geometric symbol systems and the transmitting potential of pattern and materiality. She holds an MFA from Bard College and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston, MA. Her exhibitions include solo shows at Kate Werble, NYC and group shows at Cheim and Read NYC; LX, NYC; Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT; Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, NYC; Barbara Walters Gallery at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; Berman Museum at Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA; Elizabeth Foundation Gallery, NYC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; and Art In General, NYC.
Sparks’ work has been reviewed in publications such as the New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Paris Review, Blouin Artinfo, The Brooklyn Rail, Two Coats of Paint, Modern Painters, New American Paintings, the Drawing Center’s the Bottom Line, Art21 Magazine, Vogue Mexico, Boston Globe, Art in America, Bloomberg, Timeout New York, Huffington Post, and Art and Auction. She has received numerous grants and fellowships including MacDowell Colony, Elizabeth Foundation Studio Intensive Program at Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, NY, Fire Island Artist Residency, NY, Residenza del Palmerino, Associazione Culturale Il Palmerino, IT, Berkshire Taconic Fellowship, SMFA Alumni Traveling Fellowship and an Elaine DeKooning Fellowship.