Laurel Sparks - new paintings
may 6 - 28, 2005

gallery hours: tues - sat 11am - 5:30pm



click on image for larger view


Clifford • Smith Gallery is pleased to announce its May exhibition of new paintings by Laurel Sparks. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. There will be a reception on Friday, May 6th, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

In her earlier work, Laurel Sparks toyed with the traditions of portraiture and landscape, seemlessly joining the monstrous and the beautiful into an oddly contented union. Her previous paintings seemed to operate at the cellular/biological level, in a world of tortured glamour reveling in its own excess.

In these newest paintings, Sparks confronts us with twisted symbols of superfluity: the ossified remnants of refinement and taste. Borrowing freely from baroque ornamentation and anatomical references, Sparks weaves a gently unsettling yet sweetly melancholy chronicle of the mythology of class.

Of her work, the artist says,

“My paintings fuse the decorative and biological. I interlock shapes, textures and colors to create abstract compositions that are ornate and skeletal. My forms are derived from images from anatomy books, art nouveau designs and crystal chandeliers. By fusing glamorous and grotesque elements, I conjure the unknown and fantastical.”

At once fleshy and confectionary, my paintings emphasize physicality. I use watercolor markers, marble dust and acrylic to layer sinewy lines with thick, chalky pools. Tangled within the overall pattern are sheaths of glitter and modulated color. The ethereal and tactile media coalesce and dissolve into space, while maintaining a flatness associated with a 1960’s pop aesthetic. Concrete materiality is as much the subject of my paintings as the abstract imagery.”

Laurel Sparks holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and an MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She has previously exhibited locally at the Gallery @ Green Street and will be included in an upcoming exhibition at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. This is her second solo exhibition at the Clifford-Smith Gallery.

For more information please e-mail the gallery or call 617.695.0255 


Laurel Sparks

fugue state


acrylic, marble dust, glitter, pom poms on canvas

42" x 36"