Postmasters Gallery is pleased to announce "Overdrive" - an exhibition of recent works by Diana Cooper opening on February 23 and remaining on view until March 29, 2008. The reception is scheduled for Saturday, February 23 between 6 and 8 pm. This will be the artist's sixth solo show with the gallery.

Defying easy categorization Diana Cooper is best known for expanding the idea of drawing into the third dimension to create dense, line-driven sculptural hybrids. Essentially abstract, yet projecting an inherent sense of systems, networks and circuitry, Cooper's works bridge the organic and technological realm. They transcend the childlike doodling of repetition, multiplication and absent-mindedness to create complex spatial units where spontaneity and control, chaos and order, joy and seriousness coexist.

Cooper says:
I am fascinated by maps, subway systems, color-coding, the relationships between macroscopic and microscopic imagery. But I always feel that I operate by osmosis. I really am influenced by the visual world. I want the work to have a sensuality and visual impact. And I think a lot of systems are visual. Systems are a way people try to make sense of things or create order. They also are all around us, in the natural world and in the man-made world, and I am intrigued by how they intersect, echo one another, or come into conflict. But I am less drawn to the specific content or narrative of a given system, which for me is just raw material. In fact, I am interested when something like a diagram or a graph disassociates itself from its origin and becomes something else entirely.

In A large survey show "Beyond the Line: the Art of Diana Cooper" curated by Margo Crutchfield was on view in the fall of 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Spanning 10 years of work, this was Cooper's first one-person museum exhibition.

"All Our Wanderings" (2007), a monumental freestanding sculpture originally commissioned by MOCA Cleveland is a centerpiece of the Postmasters' exhibition. A multi-sectioned, blood-red structure of interlocking wooden shells (Margo Crutchfield describes it in a catalogue as "a fallen ziggurat or a gargantuan armadillo made of hard edged angular segments,"), it incorporates Cooper's earlier drawings that are digitally printed and laminated onto the sculpture's hollow interior and are then further drawn upon. Discussing the piece in the current issue of Art Papers, Douglas Max Utter calls it an autobiographical time machine where "the infinity of former doodles becomes the ground for the artist to scrawl a fresh generation of hand drawn marks. The structural solidity of the wooden boxes and their febrile, reproducible interiors suggest that Cooper's prolific ephemera are beginning to build their own cultural reef."

The second gallery of Postmasters will be transformed to create an enclosed chapel-like space for "Orange Alert UK" (2003-2008) - an ongoing room installation, that began during Cooper's residency at the Wimbledon School of Art in London and was originally inspired by the color coded terror alert system established by US Government post 9/11.

 

Above: Orange Alert UK, 2003 - 2007, acetate acrylic, felt, ethylene vinyl acetate, paper, foamcore, corrugated plastic, map pins, room installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy and copyright of the artist and Postmasters Gallery.