Sara Barker

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Sara Barker
Fenestra, 2010
Aluminium, gouache paint, waterbased primer, polyester resin, glue on painted steel & glass table
102 x 135 x 10 cm / Table: 58 x 163 x 80 cm

Sara Barker’s works don’t simply breach the boundaries between painting and sculpture, they are that boundary. Skeletal structures in aluminium and steel describe wonky rectangular shapes in the air in hesitant lines, as though uncertain of themselves; their forms are those of sketches, not sculptures. Their surfaces are then coated with layers of oil paint, gouache and watercolour in the blanched and airy palette of a landscape painting. And as landscapes do, Barker’s works posit painting as a thing to be inhabited, and draw on the tradition of inhabited rooms in the quiet modernist lineage of Bonnard and Matisse (one work is named after his 1916 painting ‘The Piano Lesson’).

Sara Barker
La Leçon De Piano, 2010
Aluminium sheet, oil based primer, oil paint, polyester resin on glass & steel table
119 x 74 x 19 cm / Table: 83 x 89 x 46 cm

Modernist literature, too, has long provided Barker with inspiration for her spindly spatial constructions: both the metaphorical and actual space of Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ – the unfolding of a novel is, too, a kind of space-making – might provide discreet associations with her work. Yet Barker’s works refuse to cooperate with conventional categorization: these are the spaces between, like the gaps that separate words in a sentence. Their power lies in what they don’t quite say.

Sara Barker
Words Are Form, 2010
Aluminium, grey & white metal filler, primer, gouache, oil paint, glue, rivets, bolts
158 x 119 x 15 cm

Sara Barker
Intercourse, 2011
Steel, rubber, shellac, pigment, basa wood, copper paint
201 x 124 x 54 cm

Sara Barker
Conversions, 2011
Steel, aluminium, various paints
215 x 115 x 65 cm

Sara Barker
Everyone Is De Trop, 2011
Aluminium, various paints, pencil crayon, pastel, rivets, filler
220 x 120 x 18 cm

Sara Barker
Love Letter, 2012
Aluminium sheet, steel rod, steel bar, canvas, oil paint, watercolour, acrylic paint, aquarelle, metal filler on steel and mirror plinth
216 x 119 x 86 cm

Sara Barker
A Certain Slant Of Night, 2012
Aluminium and steel sheet, various paints, glass, painted mahogany table
176 x 96.5 x 84 cm

Text by Ben Street


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