Frame Story—Carolie Parker at SPARC Gallery April 16 through May 14. Courtesy photo

The South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC) is pleased to present the exhibition Frame Story—Carolie Parker at SPARC Gallery, located at the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce on Mission Street, April 16 through May 14, 2018.  An artist reception will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 6-8 pm. MICRONAUT, an independent curatorial design firm in South Pasadena, has organized the exhibition.

Frame Story is named for a traditional literary device in which a group of related stories are told within the context of a larger story.  This format of a story within a story, first popularized in the late Middle Ages, can be seen in such collections as Boccaccio’s Decameron, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the ancient folktales compiled in The 1001 Nights.

The formal elements in Carolie Parker’s works draw on a similar regulating principle: the repetition of geometric shapes within a layered format where motifs reoccur in slight variations through the series. An exploration of translucent color reflects the artist’s interest in the Muslim tile designs of Andalucia, which in turn bear many similarities to the reoccurring motifs in works like The 1001 Nights. “To make the paintings,” Parker explained recently, “I work in layers, starting with collaged or recycled paper squeegeed with color. The second layer is a watercolor shape, which is poured onto the surface. Each piece is finished with a patterned overlay, printed either in silkscreen or with a template.”

The actual shapes of color in Frame Story are suggested by the commercial and domestic architecture of Los Angeles, which comes in often predictable box-like forms overlaid with a range of decorative touches; Mexican, Tuscan, Norman or Tudor. Parker transformed this vernacular into images of great formal elegance in the same way that stories like The 1001 Nights draw on inherited folk traditions, weaving them into luminous tales of magical change and adventure.

Carolie Parker is a visual artist and writer with a background in foreign languages and world literature. She was recently a MacDowell Fellow (visual art and poetry) and a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. Her poetry has appeared in Trickhouse, The Denver Quarterly, NOW culture, River Styx Magazine and Poor Claudia. She has exhibited visual work at PØST, The Armory Center for the Arts, BLAM and Edward Cella Art and Architecture (all Los Angeles). Mirage Industry, a book-length collection of her poetry, is just out from What Books Press in Los Angeles. She teaches Humanities and Art History at LA Trade Tech (LA Community College District).

The SPARC Gallery is located at 1121 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030.

SPARC Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment.

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