The Arts Club is delighted to announce an exhibition of new work by artists Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke. Barrow and Parke’s collaborative work has been shown internationally, with recent exhibitions in New York, Milan and Prague, as well as at the Musée d’Art Moderne and Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Coinciding with an exhibition of their work at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, this will be the artists’ first solo show in London.
Mark Barrow creates geometric, abstract paintings on unique, bespoke canvasses that have been hand-woven on a loom by his partner and collaborator Sarah Parke. Taking over a salon at The Arts Club they will create an environment, with the installation of three upholstered stools and a freestanding screen along with a selection of new paintings.
The work on display at The Arts Club reflects the evolution of Barrow and Parke’s working practice which has become increasingly collaborative since they began working together in 2008. Although originally from different creative backgrounds, the artists began working in partnership after they identified a similarity between the relationship of pixels to a digital image and of the intersection of the warp and weft of cloth.
The threads selected by Parke in weaving are restricted to the colour systems on which all printed images are based: either the CMYK colour model (Cyan Magenta Yellow Key) or the RGB colour model (Red Green Blue). The decision to restrict the colour in their works to these models is part of the artists’ exploration of the ways in which human constructs produce order within human experience, as Barrow explains:
“Focusing on the smallest elements of a painting is similar to looking at what molecules or atoms make up a substance…A loom, a computer and a painting are all complex systems made of simple, repeated elements.”
Parke weaves the canvasses using coloured fibres before Barrow meticulously applies series of even dots and dashes in white or grey acrylic paint, following the undulating texture of the woven fabric. Both artists use computer software to support their working processes, and Barrow’s tiny painted dots seem to ‘pixelate’ the canvas surface, as on a television screen. The painted areas intersect and cross with the expanses of colour that have been worked into the fabric of the canvas, producing complex, layered compositions.