LONDON.- Frith Street Gallery
announced an exhibition of new works by Cornelia Parker. In this exhibition Parker turns her attention to facets of the city streets that are usually overlooked, from the cracks in the pavement and accidental spills, to discarded pieces of wood, transforming them into evocative and highly charged images and objects.
In Pavement Cracks (City of London) Parker has cast the spaces between the paving stones of the non-conformist cemetery of Bunhill Fields. The graveyards most famous incumbents are John Bunyan writer of Pilgrims Progress and William Blake, painter and poet who wrote the poem Jerusalem (later turned into the popular anthem by composer Hubert Parry). Parker had often played dont step on the lines or Hopscotch while walking her daughter to school on a route that took them through the graveyard. These games rekindled an obsession with pavement cracks that had lain dormant since the artists own childhood. By pouring liquid cold-cure rubber into some of the cracks and letting it set, Parker was able to lift up this part the geography of the city that had been mapped out in stone many years before. The captured rubber cracks were then cast in bronze, and placed on steel pins so they appear to hover just above the floor, creating an obstacle, a kind of petrified line drawing.
Building joists, pallets and broken pieces of furniture can be found abandoned in any cityscape, often left leaning precariously against a wall. Unsettled (Shadow of A Doubt: Jerusalem) uses wood collected from the streets of old Jerusalem. Parker has plucked these pieces from an uncertain future and reassembled them so that they are suspended just above the ground, seemingly, but not quite touching an imaginary wall while casting ambiguous shadows. The Doubt in question is a slippery thing, to be defined in the mind of the viewer.
Cracked walls provide the inspiration for Prison Wall Abstracts: A Man Escaped. This set of 12 photographic prints depicts the perimeter wall of Pentonville Prison in London. The walls fissures had been repaired with white filler in gestural patterns worthy of any abstract expressionist painter. Parker photographed the marks literally seconds before they were obliterated forever by a layer of magnolia paint. Later that day, after the paint was barely dry, a murderer escaped from the prison after scaling the walls.
This exhibition coincides with Thames & Hudsons publication of a major new monograph on Cornelia Parker by Iwona Blazwick with a foreword by Yoko Ono, Introduction by Bruce Ferguson and commentaries by the artist. Price £35 hardback.
Cornelia Parker (1956, Cheshire) has had solo exhibitions at Baltic, Gateshead, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Whitechapel Laboratory, London, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Galleria dArte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, ICA, Philadelphia, Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado, Chicago Arts Club, and ICA Boston, A major mid-career retrospective is planned for The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester in 2014. Parker's work is represented in many international collections including Tate, London, The Caixa Foundation, Barcelona/ Madrid, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997.