press release

Over the course of more than forty years Thomas Joshua Cooper has produced a unique body of work, an intense and resonant visual cartography that maps, using the medium of photography, the human and physical geography of the world in which we live. Cooper's work is attentive not only to the physical characteristics of landscape, its geology, its appearance, and the ways in which it is delineated by light, but to the layers of human history which suffuse it. His images, which might at first appear old fashioned or traditional - being made with an antique plate camera and painstakingly printed by hand - in fact represent a radical vision of landscape and propose a profound rethinking of the possibilities of the genre.

The current exhibition at the CDAN focuses on a body of work which in many ways represents the culmination of this extraordinary journey: images made at key points on the way to, at and coming back from the North and South Poles. It includes works that appear at first to be nothing more than black or white monochromes, ‘pictures' of nothing at all. This work is the latest chapter in Cooper's ongoing attempt to visualise the extremities of the Atlantic Basin in order to construct what he calls an ‘Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity.' These works are presented in Spain for the first time alongside a selection of works from the very earliest phase of Cooper's career, from 1969 to the early 1980s. This was a crucial period for Cooper's work, during which he established the conceptual parameters of his practice. These early works, which have been little exhibited in recent years, offer us the possibility to locate TRUE and the ‘Atlas' within a wider context.

Ben Tufnell

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Thomas Joshua Cooper
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