September 6, 2008

Sarah Walker: Layer upon layer upon layer

In the press release, Sarah Walker claims to use painting "as a tool for perceptual recalibration that enables viewers to detect and intuit disparate spatial systems simultaneously." Well, OK, I guess so, but no need to be so rhetorically oblique and cerebral. Her mostly small, densely-layered compositions incorporate lattice-like structures, which suggest everything from cellular composition to microchips, with patterns from geology, nature, and architecture. In the San Franciso Chronicle, Kenneth Baker reports that Walker's use of digital imagery opens new pictorial possiblities, and that her work presents an apt visual metaphor for the complexity of our times. "In a culture seething with moving images, painting that asks us to take it seriously must acknowledge its own inertia. New York painter and former Bay Area resident Sarah Walker understands this, to judge by her involving new work at Gregory Lind Gallery. Most painters of Walker's generation realize that they have little or no hope of finding a fixed, describable detail of reality that might evoke the complexity of our historical moment. But abstraction - ongoing for nearly a century - and current technology for repatterning information have opened new pictorial possibilities. Walker apparently exploits some of them in complex compositions that appear to involve computer-aided design at some stage....Walker's paintings deliberately suggest snapshots of a process. But rather than try to evoke movement, they work on mobilizing the viewer's imagination, perhaps the only medium agile enough to comprehend the dovetailing of forces and facts that shapes the world."

""Sarah Walker: Beacons, Floaters and Lost Objects," Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Through Oct. 11.

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