Laurel Sparks

American, b. 1972

Cat’s Cradle, 2013

Acrylic, marble dust, glitter, papier mâché, jingle bells, pigment, ink on raw canvas

Purchase from the Kate Werble Gallery

BAM2015.050


Laurel Sparks’ large-format, mixed-media painting, Cat’s Cradle, was purchased for the collection in 2015 after it was displayed in the summer exhibition, Wayfarers, which explored multi-sensory experience through contemporary painting.

Sparks utilizes a variety of elements to construct her paintings. In Cat’s Cradle the viewer will find glitter, papier-mâché, and jingle bells as well as acrylic paint. Interested in sigils, glyphs, and symbols, Cat’s Cradle is one of many paintings constructed through a cryptic set of self-imposed rules. To start, Sparks writes words or ideas in a spiral from the center of her canvas to the edges. She then erases a majority of the letters leaving behind only points, which she then connects to create shapes and pathways. Sparks always works from a plan for the journey of the artwork, but never has expectations for how her paintings will resolve.

Cat’s Cradle is exemplary of how through experimentation an unlikely conglomerate becomes a cohesive piece. The child’s game the painting is titled after is one of the oldest forms of play known in human history - Cat’s Cradle, like its namesake, feels like it exists without time, casting out a cosmic net which pulls the viewer into its enchanting forms, pathways, and geometry.

Return to Lucky Seven exhibition