The Art On Our Walls
LACRIMOSO AND MOTION PICTURES
OCTOBER 6TH - NOVEMBER 10TH, 2022
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6TH
“Lacrimoso” and “Motion Pictures”: Works on Canvas and Paper by Peter Sparling
My paintings and drawings on the walls of Kerrytown Concert House might be considered visualizations of the musical resonances and sonic vibrations that fill such a space. As a musician first before my 50-year career as a dancer and choreographer of countless musical scores, I have learned to internalize and project a kind of motion-triggered musicality that has become second nature. In the case of “Lacrimoso”, my danced improvisation in silence provided the sequence and bodily shapes for the series of 22 works on paper. Created as a tribute to the Ukrainian people, the images are charged with the intensity of mourning: a lamentation for a catastrophe. Etched with multiple strokes of colored acrylic pen, the portraits reveal the body as a contour map of heightened emotion.
All the works here share the primary inspiration of the expressive motion of dancers. The “Motion Pictures” series embodies a kinetic charge, a direct result of my process of allowing the stroke of the brush to be guided by the motion of dancing bodies via projection of a video directly onto canvas or paper. Strongly influenced by my love of the diverse forms and styles of Asian calligraphy, these networks or bowers of interweaving brush strokes usher me towards a less figurative, more abstract take on my own or other dancers’ movement. They come closer to the sensations and mental pictures that alternately direct and are the result of patterns of motion coursing through the dancing body: a premonition or anticipation, a fleeting impression, a retained image of the accumulation over time of lines drawn in space by the dancer. Moving towards a kind of synesthesia, then, my experience of dance, video, music and painting fuse to produce pictures alive with their combined impulses and energies. Floating against a void of black paper, the figures become their own charged landscapes and suggest their own music.
Peter Sparling is Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company. He directed Michigan’s own Peter Sparling Dance Company from 1993-2008 and was recognized with the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award. Sparling serves as associate director/choreographer of New Theater of Medicine He is a lecturer, published poet and essayist. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the New York Dance on Camera Festival, American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festivals, Lisbon’s InShadow Festival, DANCE:FILMS Glasgow, Screen Dance International and Ann Arbor Film Festival. His made-for-TV work, Climbing Sainte-Victoire, was broadcast on Michigan Television in 2009. His screendance, The Snowy Owl, was featured in the Court Métrage of the Cannes Film Festival 2015. The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival screened his video, “Winterreise”, with live musical performance at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2022. An avid painter since retiring from U-M, Sparling has presented five solo exhibits and had works featured in numerous group shows.
Learn more at: http://www.petersparling.com/