The University Art Museum (UAM) presents Barrow Parke: Systems & Mythologies.

Working at the intersection of art, craft, and technology, artists Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke explore visual systems in Barrow Parke: Systems & Mythologies through their collaborative weaving and painting practice. This exhibition is continuing from fall 2023.

For artist duo Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke, weaving is a way of thinking. The subject matter of their collaborative art practice combining hand-loomed textiles and paintings cover topics from world creation myths to computer science to the cosmos, but their work always centers on the craft of weaving: its history, logic, mathematics, and systems, and its intuitive, visual, and tactile qualities. Barrow Parke: Systems & Mythologies is Barrow Parke’s first solo museum exhibition and features newly commissioned work, including site-specific wallpaper and vinyl window installations, alongside earlier series showing the arc of their fifteen-year collaboration.

Barrow Parke’s most recent work shows how weaving provides a framework for thinking about systems, such as those in the sciences or anthropology. Through woven and painted patterns, Barrow Parke frequently explore the patterns of thinking that form mythological and scientific systems for understanding the cosmos. Barrow Parke’s earlier series explore abstract visual systems drawn from screen technology, commercial printing, and modernist painting. The exhibition includes a newly commissioned piece covering an entire arched bay of four floor-to-ceiling double windows of the museum’s Edward Durell Stone architecture: a luminous translation of graph paper weaving drafts into a grid of translucent red, green, blue, and black vinyl squares that read like digitally-inflected stained glass.

Barrow Parke: Systems and Mythologies also includes works from the University at Albany Fine Art Collections and works on loan by modernist and late modernist artists: Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, and Agnes Martin. All were selected by Barrow Parke to underscore their dialogue with modernism, which in turn informs all the ways they use weaving to think about the world in Systems & Mythologies.

Mark Barrow (b. 1982) and Sarah Parke (b. 1981) live and work in New York City. Barrow holds a B.F.A. in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. in Painting from the Yale School of Art. Parke holds a B.F.A. in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design. They have exhibited widely in institutions including the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, City University of New York, NY; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; the Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China; Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany; and Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.