Cornelia Parker, British, born 1956
burnt wood, wire and string
Museum purchase with funds provided by Jan and Howard Hendler
© Phoenix Art Museum. All rights reserved. Photo by Ken Howie.
Katz Wing, First Floor, Contemporary Art
Cornelia Parker’s installation is constructed from the charred remains of a Texas church that was struck by lightning. The London-based artist conceived of and created the work while resident at ArtPace in San Antonio. Featured in the 1997 Turner Prize Exhibition at the Tate Gallery (London), the work was described in the exhibition brochure as “chunks and splinters of charcoal suspended from the ceiling to form the illusion of a cube, dense at the center, thinning at the edges. It appears at once flat and three dimensional, but never solid, almost disintegrating before our eyes.”
The title, in part, refers to the scientific term “cold dark matter,” used to describe the unquantifiable in the universe. “Mass” suggests not only a spiritual gathering, but also the solids and voids that are basic elements of sculpture. The artist also thinks of this work as a charcoal drawing, or an abstract painting against a white background.