Spanierman Modern is pleased to announce the opening on February 6, 2014, of Katherine Parker: chants/chance an exhibition and sale of new large-scale abstractions in which Parker considers the porous relationships that each of us has with our subconscious selves. Her vibrant many-layered works explore the amorphous and elusive nature of memory, reflected in fragments of truth that are visible, hidden, or reconfigured in the mind.
Parker begins her paintings within the framework of grids. Echoing the repetition of chants, these often draw her into a meditative state by their quiet lull. When elements of chance and the unexpected arise, she allows them to dictate the direction in which she proceeds. She states: “I seek resolution slowly through a balance of intention and discovery. In the process, I explore transparency and loss and the tension between the planned and the unpredictable.”
This exhibition includes two sets of paintings addressing slightly different themes. The first consists of paintings with closely related colors and precariously balanced, stacked forms. In them, large masses tend to hover, break up, or dissolve. Some appear weightless while others seem heavy and earthbound. For example, in Behind and Below, the variegated shades of red are similar, but a large pink form threatens to break off and float away. Another form, outlined in black, suggests a void or a missing shape.
In the second group, including Bodies at Rest, I Found It Here, and In the Margins, Parker uses layers of white and tinted color along with charcoal marks that form partially smudged grids. Other marks stubbornly take on importance, often setting the emotional tone for a painting. In the Margins is dominated by a massive, centrally placed white square. However, the interesting part of the painting is in the layered history located at its edges.
Although Parker is influenced by the attitude and rigor of the New York School, she strives for an expressive vision that is modest rather than sublime. She says, “My paintings are a recording of the quiet and personal—moments of everyday life filtered through the particular and profound.”
Parker received her B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.F.A. from Columbia University. She has exhibited at the Queens College Art Center (solo show); the Jersey City Museum (solo show); the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, New Jersey; P.S. 1 (MOMA), New Jersey State Museum, Trenton; the National Catholic Museum, New York; Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey; and the Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey. She has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and Yaddo. She is represented in the collections of the Jersey City Museum, Trenton; New York University Law School; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, New Jersey.