Sarah Walker at Pierogi

Space Machines
Opening Reception: Sunday, 11 September (6-8pm)
Exhib Dates: 9 September – 9 October, 2016

Sarah Walker - "Space Machine I," 2016, Acrylic on paper mounted on linen

Press Release  |  Space Machines

“If a time machine moves through time, a space machine moves through space, but what kind of space? While such a vessel usually brings to mind rockets, satellites even UFOs, I use the interstellar image metaphorically for parallel objects and spaces – our inner ones.” (Walker, 2016)

Pierogi is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Sarah Walker. Through process-oriented abstract painting, Walker creates different states of spatial reality, moving through and across one another at varying densities and velocities. Some layers come to the fore while others recede; some submerge or don’t conform yet all participate as if space and time were simultaneous. “The inner world is the outer world, multiplicity is the rule rather than the exception and everything that ever existed continues in some form.”

Multiplicity is inherent in our neurology (as anyone who has taken a hallucinogen knows), but up until recently it took time to get from one thing to the next, one place to the next, one space to the next. Now, through the training wheels of digital technology, we can position parts of our attention in different places, spaces, and states simultaneously. This prepares us for an altogether different sort of experience, one where space and time behave as varying forms of connection and attachment.

Walker continues to develop her process of working with highly liquid paint on a flat surface, allowing pooled paint to dry, wiping or scouring away excess, adding more paint, in some areas encouraging reticulation to occur; the only fast rule being to leave some part of each sub-layer visible, creating dynamic shifts between foreground and background. “When I make paintings I make them where all the decisions remain visible. Seemingly separate lines of development continue passing through one another even lending their structure to each other and these influences remain visually available over time. This means in essence that what was alive, is alive now, and will always be alive – because it is visually available.”

“Ironically although access to information is practically instantaneous, looking at a painting takes time, the process of its making takes time – mine are very slow. The still and silent painting gradually absorbs the viewer’s attention, which is always in motion. I love this about painting. My paintings, generated over time in multiple contradictory layers, hold open the space where everything is accessible but it is the viewers’ own habits of attachment that crystallize the painting, revealing something of their own inner diagram. I consider the paintings machines for this process.”

This will be Walker’s fifth one-person exhibition at Pierogi. Her work has been included in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NY, NY), Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI), DeCordova Museum (Lincoln, MA), Neuberger Museum (Purchase, NY), and Rappaport Foundation (Boston, MA). She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Prize and the Rappaport Prize.