Waterloo Arts presents Lane Cooper: What Dreams May Come
Adjust the picture on a vintage TV set, fiddle with dials, swing the rabbit ears around. Aim for clarity – but what that means depends on whether you want to see the whole sitcom or a millisecond of the action, the image or the matrix from which it emerges. And if technology can achieve finer tuning, our own brains are more old-fashioned. We rebuild the world one neural impulse, one guess at a time, but the picture we get is a question of priorities, and hallucinations. We’re inclined to see what we hope for, or what we fear, mixed into the stew of perception. To fine tune meaning and understanding is the work of a lifetime.
That’s part of what makes the work of Lane Cooper so interesting. The Chair of the painting department at the Cleveland Institute of Art, her layered acrylic on birch panel images use a vocabulary of color and technique usually employed in the context of pure abstraction. In recent series of mid-size and small paintings, her taping and glissando-like cascades of carefully applied tints investigate formal issues almost as an aside, but primarily serve to interrupt, distort, and reconstitute the presence and meaning of certain subjects – houses, faces, interactios. They also reflect on the impact of new media, like scientific imaging, on painterly representation, and on some of the philosophical and physiological insights that have left their mark on contemporary art.
Her 2014 series “Shimmer” reveals/conceals faces broken up by or hidden behind precise, narrow horizontal striations. These stripes vary in width as they cut across the image, joggling or displacing the subject, as if they were a phase in a process of resolution – or a type of deliberate interference, of jamming. The viewer is pushed toward and pulled away from recognition, exposed to a facial feature, a mouth, or to an architectural detail, then barred from knowing how they fit together. Sometimes her titles add a few hints to the associative mix.
Lane Cooper began teaching at CIA in 2001. She received a Master’s Degree in Art History from the University of Alabama, and her MFA in Painting from the University of Alabama. She teaches numerous courses in art history and design as well as painting and drawing. Cooper has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad.
Walk All Over Waterloo: March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3
15605 Waterloo Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
The Home Project 6, acrylic on birch panel, 20″ x 20″, 2015 (From a commission for the Hilton Convention Center)
The Home Project 4, acrylic on birch panel, 20″ x 20″, 2015 (From a commission for the Hilton Convention Center)
Violet: It’s A Wonderful Life, 12″ x 12″, 2015 (Private Collection)