Monday, June 29, 2009

Sleep to Dream

Polly Lanning Sparrow's Sleeper at Barry Whistler Gallery

Polly Lanning Sparrow's works in
Sleeper are graphically painted panels. Had she hung the works on the wall they would be paintings, but leaning against the wall and sprawled out on the floor they fall into minimalist sculpture territory. There are similarities that can be drawn between these works and those of Ellsworth Kelly or Donald Judd's rhythmic sculptures. They share bright colors, precision and a similar use of space. There is a shared refinement of craft that links these artists.

Painting on panels has rich art historical roots, especially when it comes to religious iconography. Ms. Sparrow's works don't share much visually with icon panel paintings, but like Dan Flavin's spiritual bent using light tube configurations, simplicity lends itself to reverence. The artist's work appears focused on formal concerns, but the title
Sleeper is so evocative when placed in a context with icon painting. If this is sleep, are we on the cusp of an awakening?

Blue Configuration, 2009

Red & Blue (diptych), 2009

Red Configuration #2, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Are you exhibiting anywhere in Dallas or Fort Worth? We are always interested to hear about gallery shows for Dallas Art News ( Cheers!