17 August 2018

Solo Show of Paintings at 22 North Gallery, October, 2018

Peter Sparling - Solo Show of Paintings at 22 North Gallery, October, 2018 image

The Post-Photographic Body: See Me as I Feel    

Acrylic Selfies by Peter Sparling

22 North Gallery (www.22north.org)

22 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI

Opening Night Reception on Ypsilanti’s First Friday, October 5, 7-9 PM 

Open Three Weekends: October 5-7, 19-21, 26-27, 2018

Hours: Fridays, 6-9 PM, Saturdays 2-9 PM, Sundays 12-4 PM 

and by appointment at 22north.org: Contact Us


Dancer, choreographer and video artist Peter Sparling presents his first solo exhibit of acrylic paintings at Ypsilanti’s 22 North Gallery, 22 N. Huron St. during the month of October.

Recently retired from U-M as Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance, Sparling features self-portraits that seamlessly translate the visual and visceral immediacy of a dancer’s body to canvas. Highlighting muscular flow and kinetic force via dynamic use of brush stroke and coloration, Sparling uses his own moving body as subject to create a series of “acrylic selfies”. Culled from the past five years of work, the selection of paintings moves beyond photograph to communicate a tactile presence and physical sensation: what it feels like to be seen in a heightened state of expressive motion. 

Sparling comments 

“I move from the inside and “perform” for the outside eye of the camera, imagining at the same time—frame by frame—what I might “look like”. I then curate from among those moments-whether captured on iPhone, conventional still camera or digital video camera-- the image of my body that strikes me as visually and viscerally provocative.  I regard that image as something outside of me, as both subject and object. I project it onto the canvas and draw its outlines. As I begin to paint, I re-enter my own body and re-experience the original intention and muscular tension of that captured moment from the inside out. The act of painting itself—of connecting the physical action of the brush stroke with the eye in producing the painted image via composition, form, line, texture and color-- bridges the inside and outside, and I “catch sight” of myself. I slip into the zone. A kind of truth comes full circle: seeing and doing are one. Unlike dance, painting allows a bridging of past (movement made for the recorded image) to present (the moment of painting) to future (the finished canvas, a material object, apart from me yet an organic extension and/or document). I have become obsessed with the materiality of the paint and the painting. It has come as a gift after a long career attempting to embody and possess the ephemerality of dance.”

There will be an opening Reception on Friday, October 5, 7-9 PM. Sparling is available when available for private showings by appointment.  For more information, contact Peter Sparling at petespar@umich.edu or visit www.22north.org.