Sara Barker


The Artist

Sara Barker (Manchester, UK, 1980) lives and works in Glasgow, UK.
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. 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.
From 1999 to 2003 she studied painting at the BA (Hons) Fine Art of Glasgow School of Art, then, from 1998 to 1999, history of art at the University of Glasgow. Recent solo exhibitions include The Approach, London, UK (2017), Permanent sculptural commission, the Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, UK (2015), the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK (2014), the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2013). Her works have also been included in some group shows like Victoria Miro, London, UK (2018), Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, UK (2018), National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington (2017), The Approach, London, UK (2017), Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, USA (2013), Tate Liverpool, UK (2012) and many others.

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