My work was on the recent cover of New Scientist Magazine. “Why Space Has Exactly Three Dimensions”
photo by Harlan Erskine
I was commissioned by The Arts Initiative (Primary Projects) to create a large mural on an escalator “Drippy”, and an 8ft x 20ft hanging sculpture “Wormhole” in the new mall Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
The Arts Initiative, a newly formed collective dedicated to placing highly interactive visual art in public venues, announced a lineup of more than 10 nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists for its initial installation, which will be housed within the forthcoming Fashion Outlets of Chicago.
Daniel Arsham, Bhakti Baxter, Jim Drain, Friends With You, Cody Hudson, Alvaro Ilizarbe, Andrew Nigon, Kenton Parker, Bert Rodriguez, Jen Stark & Austyn Weiner.
The brainchild of AWE Talisman Chairman Arthur Weiner, which is curated by acclaimed Miami-based collective Primary Projects, the installation will include work from the likes of artists Daniel Arsham, Jim Drain, Friends With You, Bert Rodriguez and Jen Stark, among others. This project represents the future of highly interactive visual art in public venues: artist-driven ideas actively integrated into the architectural framework and viewing space.
The artists chosen by The Arts Initiative will enrich and enliven the multi-level shopping center in a way that is sure to redefine public arts spaces for years to come.
Photo by Clayton Hauck
Photo by Clayton Hauck
Photo by Clayton Hauck
Photo by Clayton Hauck
Fashion Outlets of Chicago, located in Rosemont, IL, is developed, owned and operated by AWE Talisman and Macerich. The 530,000 square foot fully enclosed structure spans two floors and includes a diverse portfolio of more than 130 outlets. The Fashion Outlets of Chicago will open August 1, 2013.
Fashion Outlets Chicago
5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont, IL 60018
My work is included in a group show at The Hole Gallery in NYC. I hope you can make it out.
July 18 – August 24, 2013
OPENING: Thursday, July 18 from 6-9pm
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Airan Kang / Alexander Rodriguez / Andre Saraiva / Andrew Kuo / Brad Phillips / Brian Belott / Brian Dettmer / Clare Rojas / David Shrigley / Devin Troy Strother / Dustin Yellin / Gareth Long / Geoff McFetridge / Harland Miller / Hollie Chastain / Holton Rower / Jacqueline Rush Lee / Jen Mazza / Jen Stark / Jesse Edwards / John Copeland / Kembra Pfahler / Leo Fitzpatrick / Long Bin Chen / Matthew Higgs / Matthew Stone / Michael Dumontier / Miranda July /Neil Farber / Paul Bright / Peter Funch / Scott Reeder / Sean Landers / Shane Bradford / Simon Evans / Taylor McKimens / Toilet Paper / Troels Carlsen
The Hole is proud to present “Summer Reading”, a group exhibition and transformation of our Bowery galleries into a giant art book reading room. With works of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography, artists in this show explore the relationship of literature and print media to the realm of fine arts, or perhaps the slippages of meaning and experience between the act of reading and that of looking.
Please join us any lazy summer afternoon to come in to check out the exhibition and grab something off the shelves and sit in a big chair and peruse it. With over five thousand titles within reach on our shelves, including contributions from Printed Matter, D.A.P., powerHouse Books, PictureBox, Anteism and many of our gallery friends, this free reading room will contain a lot of new titles and rare old catalogues.
Our library furniture was generously provided by Bright Lyons in Brooklyn, run by Paul Bright whose contribution to the exhibition is an installation of his massive zine collection installed on the back wall of the gallery.
Into the vortex: Three-dimensional spirals inspire
By David Jager
Into the vortex: Three-dimensional spirals inspire by David Jager Los Angeles-based artist Jen Stark doesn’t hang her work in galleries; she creates inter-dimensional rifts in their walls. Occupying a wholly original territory between painting and sculpture, she literally builds her complex vortices into walls or pedestals, giving the impression that they’ve opened into rainbow hued wormholes. Behind each of these manifestations is a daunting degree of meticulous craftsmanship, handicraft and math. Stark’s three-dimensional spirals and eye-brain workouts are derived from a mix of sacred geometry and fractals painstakingly reconstructed by hand using brightly coloured paper, foam board and glue. It’s Stark’s patient commitment to detail that lends her works their hallucinatory vividness. The geometrically precise swirl of Vortextural is made all the more compelling by the ambiguous rainbow-hued shapes around its rim. She skirts the chaotic edge of her mathematically precise constructions in ways that make them more playful. And she’s not afraid to revel in the pure joy of colour running wild, as in Drippy, where it appears that a prismatic glob of colours has started to literally run down the wall from the gallery ceiling. Dimension makes its visual impact with more restraint and elegance. A series of concentric rings suspended by threads to form a receding tunnel floating in mid-air, it evokes the colour spectrum and its perceptual trickery. Circling around it, however, you’re surprised to discover that the far side has been rendered in black and white, a monochrome inversion of the same work. Pulsating, mathematically complex geometries bursting with colour are things we associate with waving glow sticks at 4 am. Stark gives these old psychedelic tropes a conceptual retrofit, infusing them with a clean, playful, contemporary edge.
A new interview on my new show “Vortextural” at Cooper Cole Gallery. Written by Shellie Zhang. Enjoy!
Interview with Jen Stark (J.S) by Shellie Zhang (S.Z)
Recognized by their mesmerizing spirals, loud colours, and op-art attributes, Jen Stark’s paper sculptures draws inspiration from an array of natural phenomenons within mathematics, nature, and cosmic space. Her current solo exhibition at the COOPER COLE Gallery demonstrates a continuation of her studies in optical illusions, colour gradations, and paper’s transformative qualities. Through an amalgamation of the visual qualities found in mandalas, topography, botany, and light, Stark’s work seems to uncover the underlying pulse of the universe. By visually mimicking the elements of time, nature, and space, Stark’s sculptural works stand as a testament to unity and oneness within the world. The entrancing installations create an alluring atmosphere between the surreal, fantastical, and psychedelic, ultimately welcoming viewers escape into the technicoloured realm of Stark’s vivid imagination.
S.Z: Your intricate colour schemes have the ability to appear random and instinctual, while also giving the impression that each hue is meticulously planned out well in advance. In doing so, your work retains a highly psychedelic and hypnotic quality which delves into your audience’s consciousness. Can you talk about your processes with colour and how you managed to find a balance for your work to remain mathematic yet organic?
J.S: My process with color comes from the interest of color in nature and how color is such an attention-grabber….to caution poison in mushrooms, or to reveal a delicious fruit that will spread it’s seed. I love how certain colors look next to each other and attract the viewer’s attention. The exact color schemes are not typically planned out. I usually spontaneously pick colors that I think will look great next to each other and build from there. They balance of mathematics and organic shapes emulates patterns in nature. I love the similarity between microscopic and macroscopic shapes and how even though they are extremely different in size, there is still an underlying shape that seems to construct itself throughout.
S.Z: Although you use 2-dimentional materials, your work reaches a sculptural status which allows it to leap off its surfaces and planes to distort perception. Cosmic Complex seems to rise from the gallery floors and Vortextural is a fantastic title that encapsulates your ability to immerse viewers in a kaleidoscopic dream. You’ve also done larger scale projects such as your mural for the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Do you prefer working on large surrealistic interventions or more intimate wormholes?
J.S: I prefer showing my artwork however I can, although I’m a bit more drawn to the sculptures/wormholes in the walls. They just seem to pull the viewer in and leave them mystified. I love them all though.
S.Z: Many of the works in this exhibition possess a pulse-like vibration that leaves viewers in a trance. In particular, Dimension had me captivated for what felt like hours. I’ve read that you are very much inspired by the patterns within nature. Could you elaborate on how repetition and movement play a part in your creative and thinking processes?
J.S: Yes. I have a love for all kinds of optical illusions and things that seem to distort reality in a subtle way. When viewing “Dimension” from one angle, you see a rainbow gradient but once the viewer moves around it, the design suddenly shifts, and they’re looking at an optical black and white pattern. Repetition and movement play a huge role in my creative process. The repetition is similar to how the layers of a plant unfurl and reveal the future layers inside, waiting to grow out. I also love having a tedious process attached to my work, and feeling like I’m piecing it all together to create something amazing.
S.Z: What were some of the challenges in transferring such a fragile set of works and installing them in COOPER COLE’s gallery space?
J.S: Packing and shipping is a huge challenge of transporting these works. I typically have someone make my most complicated crates for me, and I create the rest. Crating is typically pretty expensive if you get it done professionally, but I like knowing I’m able to do it myself and I’ve learned so much about wood-working & building things because of it. Sheets of foam really help to hold the pieces in place and ensure they don’t move during shipping in the creates. The 2 most complicated pieces to install in COOPER COLE Gallery were the hole-in-the-wall “Vortextural” and “Dimension” — the ring-shaped wormhole that hangs in the air. “Vortextural” took about 3 days to build/install and “Dimension” took about a full day. The rest of the pieces were pretty simple and hung in screws in the wall.
S.Z: I believe that this is your first solo exhibition in Canada. Your works have been especially well received in California and Miami. Could you talk a bit about joining Toronto’s art scene and what you hope to accomplish?
J.S: Yes, this was my first solo show in Toronto. I began working with COOPER COLE Gallery a few years ago. They’ve been a great gallery to work with and I am excited about our future plans. I think Toronto has a great growing art scene and I’m happy to be a part of it. In the future I’d love to do more public art sculptures & large-scale murals as well as exhibit my work in more museums.
*Note: The show is on display till August 10, 2013 at COOPER COLE Gallery, 1161 Dundas Street West. Gallery hours: Tuesday & Wednesday: 1 – 6 p.m. Thursday & Friday: 1 – 7 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
I’m happy to announce I’ll be having a solo show in Toronto opening Friday July 5th from 6-10pm. If you’re in the area I hope you can make it out.
A solo exhibition by Jen Stark
Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto
Opening July 5th from 6-10pm
For more information, please contact the gallery:
+1 647 347 3316
Jen Stark: “To the Power Of” at Martha Otero Gallery
by Shana Nys Dambrot
Jen Stark is a woman who knows how to make an unforgettable entrance: literally. Not only has she managed a smashing debut as an official LA-based artist, moving here from her native Miami a matter of weeks before the opening of “To the Power Of;” but the most dazzling of all the hypnotic works in that show are a pair of sculptural objects carving out geodesic portals that shimmer like rainbow rifts in the fabric of space. Both the freestanding Cosmic Distortion, 2012 (standing 36 1/2 inches) and the wall-embedded recess Whole, 2012 (with a radius approximately 42 inches) are impressive feats of patience, precision, and advanced fractal mathematics that beckon viewers forward, daring them to lean further, to reach inside when no one is looking, to go in. These negative spaces contain within their receding dimensions crisply defined, twisting stacks of cut paper, orchestrated to replicate geological, cosmological, and striated optics. Engineered through a process of algorithmic measurement and chromatic zestiness, her results speak to both the mysteries of sacred geometry and funhouse psychedelia.
By way of contrast, the wall-hanging Cascade (69 inches long) is made with the same classroom-simple set of materials, but references looser kinds of fractal math, such as that which might formulate the patterns of a waterfall, or a peacockÕs feathery spread. The level of dense, tiny detail in all the work seems to defy the limited powers of the hand and eye, rendering with a microscopic precision and macroscopic perspective at the same time, laying claim to the universal fundamentals of material structure, and to the joy of pure delight. Other acrylic paint-based works reference the striated fields, or alternatively set them to dissolving in waves of layered, organic, expressive abstraction. Those paint and felt-tip on paper works are vibrant and organic and quite beautiful, like ramshackle English-style gardens infused with a jazzy palette; but it’s the construction-paper constructions that possess the alluring oomph of the magical. They don’t depict so much as they evoke, or reenact, the sacred geometry of crop circles and star maps–but with a whiff of light-hearted Burning Man-style paganism, a nod to schoolroom craft time, and a wallop of post-Op Art abstraction.
I just completed a large mural in Washington DC called “Cosmic Explosion”. The mural was commissioned by a company called Vornado and painted inside their DC office. I painted 1 large mural (about 30 ft x 20 ft) and 4 smaller murals around their office space. The mural was painted by hand with Golden Acrylic paints.
Come check out my 2 new holographic pedestals during Art Basel Miami at The Miami Project Fair. I’ll be exhibiting in booth #719 with Cooper Cole Gallery. The fair is on from December 4th-9th. Check their website for hours: http://www.miami-project.com
DETAIL “Holographic Square” / 17″ x 17″ x 36″ / acid-free foam board, holographic paper, glue, wood & paint / 2012
“Holographic Square” / 17″ x 17″ x 36″ / acid-free foam board, holographic paper, glue, wood & paint / 2012
“Holographic Circle” / 20″ x 20″ x 35.5″ / acid-free foam board, holographic paper, glue, wood & paint / 2012
Please join us for an afternoon of art and conversation with MOCA curator Alma Ruiz, Artists Jen Stark and Sam Borkson (FriendsWithYou). Saturday November 3, 2012 at 3pm. On the occasion of Jen Stark’s gallery exhibition To the Power Of.
Please RSVP at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Otero Gallery
820 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery came out with a book of their current show that my work is included in “40 Under 40: Craft Futures”. Here is the article and photos of the book. If you’d like a copy for yourself, the book is also available to purchase HERE.
“40 UNDER 40″ group exhibition book
Written by: Nicholas R. Bell
The politics of craft, often so close to the surface, are largely absent from the paper sculptures of Jen Stark. Rather than tackle the deficiencies of contemporary culture, these unexpected objects serve as psychic way stations–colorful oases for individuals to de-stress through the contemplation of joyful things. In this sense they take up anew the mantle of Fancy–boisterous and bright aesthetic movement of the early nineteenth century that reframed American decorative arts through a whimsical lens. The exploitation of vivid color and pattern was paramount then, and returns as the foundation of Stark’s oeuvre.
The artist first turned to paper as a student seeking an affordable medium, and from a materials standpoint even her most complex works remain deceptively simple in their construction. Start stacks sheets of drawing paper in the order she wishes them to appear, then cuts into them one leaf at a time, finding rhythm in their expanding geometries. She cites fractals as an influence on her work, and it is easy to see the attention paid to such natural phenomena. The tight margins between layers of color mimic evolutionary progress–the smallest shifts altering the final makeup the whole.
Power of Being is indicative of Stark’s eye-popping style. A six-pointed star leaps off the wall, lending the paper a dynamic topography, then trickles down in ragged layers to a distant root. Alternating color pairings are both playful and suggestive of the star’s meaty past, while its lingering tail invokes the underbelly of an iceberg. It is only one trick up Stark’s sleeve to convey depth through the slimmest of things. Piece of an Infinite Whole demonstrates the artist’s ability to transform space through the stacking of paper. In this case she has broken through a wall, removing the piece from the actual gallery, as if the right combination of colors might open up a wormhole in otherwise staid white cube. This rupturing of the standard plane is a recurring theme in Stark’s work, and marks a current of provocation running beneath the simple pleasure of viewing it.
Stark underscores the labor inherent to her medium in How to Become a Millionaire in 100 Days. Toying with this culture’s get-rich-quick mentality, and the notion of wealth as the accumulation of currency (i.e., paper), she has individually cut one million pieces of paper and left them in a glorious pile of bespoke confetti. A quick calculation based on the title uncovers a working rate of ten thousand scraps cut per day, a pace that would make anyone blanch, and one that serves to highlight her physical as well as mental determination.
Ultimately, Stark’s palette and her deft use of the knife enchant not only through their brilliance, but also through her transformation of the most common of materials into something unique. Functionally, these strange forms serve little purpose, but to lose them would also be to miss them as one misses the most practical of things. Such is the importance of our ability to escape down the nearest, brightest rabbit hole.
This Wednesday October 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. I’ll give a talk on my work at Chapman University in Moulton Center 213. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 714-997-6729.
Visual Arts Thinkers Series Kicks-off with Jen Stark
Wednesday October 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Moulton Center 213
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
More information HERE
Some installation shots from my solo show at Martha Otero Gallery. The show runs through Dec 1st, so if you’re in LA come by.
(Installation view) photo by Brandon Shigeta
“Cosmic Distortion” / 22.5 x 22.5 x 36.5 in / Hand-cut acid-free paper, glue, wood, foam board / 2012
photo by Brandon Shigeta
“Prismatic Radiation” / 47 x 47 x 1 in / Wood, acrylic paint / 2012
photo by Brandon Shigeta
(Installation view) photo by Brandon Shigeta
Martha Otero Gallery
820 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Martha Otero Gallery is pleased to present Jen Stark’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, To the Power Of.
Opening Reception is September 28th from 6-9pm. Show runs through December 10th.
Jen Stark’s work is instantly recognizable for its breathtaking color spectrums rendered in mind-bending forms cut from paper, wood and other organic materials.
Stark’s sculptures seemingly reconstruct elements of time, nature and the cosmos on an exponential scale. She draws inspiration for her works from the rhythmic visual qualities of mandalas and other such sacred objects, while they simultaneously behave like the imagery of topographic maps, geometric repetitions and three-dimensional prisms. This aligns directly with her interest in mathematics: ‘to the power of…’ being a statement of exponential growth also infers the definition of ‘power’ as both the possession of physical or mental control and the fortitude to act decisively. Her unique experience working with fibers is displayed in her delicately constructed patterns, which resemble the flowing movements of fabric versus the perceived rigidity her actual core materials. Stark’s unflinching attention to physical detail and a commitment to shaping the object into something far beyond its origins result in a body of work which borders on the unbelievable.
With each successive individual project, Stark becomes bolder in her efforts to lure viewers into her kaleidoscopic environments. The work stands alone as a signature piece of superior craftsmanship and imaginative prowess, but Stark remains conscious of how the work is inextricably bound to real space and time. In this vein, Stark pushes the envelope of visual art production, recalling both the psychedelic experience of Op Art and the endearment of handmade totems and mystic charms.
Jen Stark was born in Miami in 1983. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, with a concentration in fibers and a minor in animation. Stark was the 2008 recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium’s Visual and Media Artist Fellowship and, in the same year, won first prize at MOCA North Miami’s 10th annual Optic Nerve Film Festival. Stark’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Chicago, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, London and Miami. Stark has been the subject of televised interviews for PBS Arts, WLRN South Florida and the Wet Heat Project. Stark’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, the West Collection in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and the Cricket and Martin Taplin Collection at the Sagamore Hotel in Miami Beach. Stark lives and works in Los Angeles.
For more information and artwork inquiries, please contact: email@example.com
820 NORTH FAIRFAX AVENUE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90046
t. 323 951 1068