press release

I am interested in how you can start with a logical system and through sheer repetition and excess create something that unravels and stops making sense. – DIANA COOPER

Intense mark making. Extreme doodling. Excessive formations. Profusions of squares, cubes, and curvilinear forms that acumulate, multiply and seem to grow out of each other. Abstraction gone haywire. Bold, vibrant color. Lines that stream across the picture plane, surging up to the ceiling or out across the floor and into the gallery space. Clusters of pom-pons. Sheer masses of materials. Expanses of yellow pipe-cleaners—more than 2000 stapled to the wall in one work. Elaborate, visually rich compositions—cut, glued, and fastened together with Velcro®, felt bands, and thousands of pushpins. Frenetic energy.

So what are these elements in Diana Cooper’s drawings, wall reliefs, and installations? Are these digital networks, urban topographies, or electrical conduits? They are methodically structured yet whimsical. Contained, yet on the verge of bursting. Almost absurd. Mesmerizing but fragile and at risk. These are exuberant works of art that speak to the tension between order, disorder, and chaos in our complex, networked world.

Beyond the Line: The Art of Diana Cooper, the artist’s first one-person museum exhibition, is the first comprehensive presentation of her work from the late 1990s to the present. The exhibition features a selection of large and small-scale drawings, four large-scale constructions, the US premier of the installation Orange Alert UK (2004-2005), and a new work commissioned by MOCA specifically for this exhibition.

Installing this unprecedented gathering of Cooper’s work will take place over the course of thirty-three. Cooper will work with MOCA staff and two teams of artists and students from Kent State University, Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at The University of Akron, and the Cleveland Institute of Art to mount the exhibition.

Diana Cooper has exhibited her work since 1995 in one-person exhibitions at galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and at the Center for Drawing in London. She has participated in many group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including most recently, a group exhibition in 2006 titled Burgeoning Geometries at the Whitney Museum of Art at Altria, in New York City. In 2003-04, Cooper was a recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize, and an artist-in-residence at the Center for Drawing at the Wimbledon School of Art outside of London. She lives and works in New York City.

Beyond the Line:
The Art of Diana Cooper