February 25, 2012

Sarah Walker's complications

Sarah Walker's 'The Cloud' (2012), acrylic on panel, features a weather graphics pattern.

Former Bay Area - now New York - painter Sarah Walker turns in new work at Gregory Lind that extends her search for patterns sufficient to objectify our sense that incomprehensible complexities underlie and support everyday life. Not just the complexities of physical and biological fact, but fragile complications, tangible and intangible, invented by people.

Walker appears to have improvised her way to this creative confrontation. Occasional references - to weather graphics in "The Cloud" (2012), for example - bleed through her elaborate process of layering and burnishing away patterns. But most of her paintings and drawings here present bafflements for contemplation to enable us not to unriddle them but to learn comfort with bafflement.

To this the right degrees of congestion and precision matter crucially, and a few pieces on view fall short. But the best of them work just the way they should.