From 26 June through 24 July 2010, Jonathan LeVine Gallery is hosting Mangle — new drawings and paintings of twisted ladies, an exhibition of graphite drawings on polypropylene paper and oil paintings on canvas by Ottawa-based artist Dave Cooper. It is Cooper’s second solo show at the gallery, but more importantly for those of us who have been following Cooper’s career from afar, Fantagraphics Books plans to reproduce “most, if not all, of the work in the show” in a new Dave Cooper art book entitled Bent. Here’s the info currently up at Amazon.ca:
Dave Cooper (Author, Artist)
List Price: CDN$ 24.01
Price: CDN$ 17.32 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over CDN$ 39.
You Save: CDN$ 6.69 (28%)
* Hardcover: 80 pages
* Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (Oct 12 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 160699378X
* ISBN-13: 978-1606993781
* Product Dimensions: 26 x 22.9 x 2.5 cm
Bent collects Cooper’s finest, most revealing paintings, ink drawings, pencil sketches, and photographs from the past five years, many of which enjoy homes in the collections of influential collectors and some of Hollywood’s elite. In this monograph, Dave Cooper continues to obsess and fixate over his bizarre procession of milky figures as they crawl and wriggle into hidden meadows, jungles and cities. Everything in this world seems to be undulating and overripe-the multi-colored Jell-O vegetation, the billowing clouds, and the twitching, agitated women, whether thin like sinewy rubber, or fat and bursting with doughy flesh. The characters in Cooper’s work have been likened to a dog chasing its tail. Or maybe it’s as though they’re like someone on drugs who can stare at their own hand for 20 minutes; either way, these girls are hypnotized by wriggling around on the ground, twisting in on themselves, walking on their hands, squeezing and chewing one another. This fine art may sound hellish, but to the demons, hell must seem like heaven. So maybe Cooper’s landscapes are more like a weird kind of utopia where all those insane facial expressions and physical contortions are more an expression of elation or giddiness.
In August, we purchased a teeny-tiny drawing by “Hector Mumbly,” which is the children’s book nom de plume of artist Dave Cooper. Here’s a scan:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
The artwork, which is from the Hector Mumbly book entitled Bagel’s Lucky Hat, is 124 mm high x 127 mm wide, red and black ink over printed blueline. The featured character, Bagel, is a mere 25 mm from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.
The drawing was accompanied by an illustrated thank-you note on standard-size typing paper. Here’s a scan:
davegraphics’ photostream – there’s lots of really good (and, sometimes, disturbing) work on display here, including some enlightening step-by-step documentations of paintings in progress.