Indepth Arts News: |
"Thomas Joshua Cooper: Point of No Return"
2004-09-22 until 2004-10-26
Haunch of Venison
UK United Kingdom
Thomas Joshua Cooper (born California 1946) is one of the world’s most celebrated and distinctive landscape artists
and photographers. The Haunch of Venison exhibition, point of no return, is the most important presentation of
Cooper’s photographs in the UK since his mid-career exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 1989.
From 1969 Cooper has worked with a nineteenth-century field camera, mapping the modern landscape in exquisite
black and white photographs in the tradition of the great pioneers of American photography such as Timothy H.
O’Sullivan. Each work begins as a location found on a map, researched, tracked down and then the picture is made.
Each site, the subject of a single frame. Cooper then makes silver prints of the images with layers of selenium and
Cooper’s most ambitious project is The World’s Edge – The Atlantic Basin Project, an epic endeavour begun in 1990
to map the extremities of the land and islands that surround the entire Atlantic Ocean. The Haunch of Venison
exhibition, point of no return, marks the completion of Part I of this project, with the first showing of photographs
mapping the western, northern and southern points of the continents of Europe and Africa. The exhibition includes
more than thirty works made in over ten countries including Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Norway.
Cooper’s work is about nature and humanity’s place within it. The works explore the boundaries of human civilization,
both temporal and physical. Michael Govan, Director, Dia Art Foundation has written: ‘Cooper’s own life is a composite
of an era where geography is known, but cultural and personal identities are continually shifting, only to be remapped
on our perceived finite globe. His art is an expression of the never-ending exploration of the edges of our own human
identity, a journey that today remains fraught with uncertainties, or even peril...’.
Cooper grew up in rural Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, California and Oregon. He studied art, literature and
philosophy, obtaining a Master’s degree in fine art in 1972, before teaching in England, the US and Tasmania. He is
Professor and Senior Researcher for Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art. Cooper's work is in numerous public
collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in
Houston and the Tate Collection. Cooper has held over fifty solo exhibitions since 1971 across Europe and America.
Thomas Joshua Cooper
Furthest South - The Indian Ocean - High Tide, 2004
Silver gelatin print
102 x 137 cm