Thursday, August 13, 2009

Celebration After the Fact, Judy Cooke

Celebration After the Fact is a pencil and ink collage on canvas Cooke made in 1972.
Is it sculpture? It is more sculpture to me than a drawing or painting, even though it is on canvas.
In this found item collage consider this quote by the artist; "I was having forms built that resembled the shapes contained within my paintings. What was inside, became the outside." There is a recurring theme in Cooke's work of the relationship of the containing space to the shapes within.
Some of her other pieces in the PAM collection include Dilemma, a 14 by 96 inch long oil, rubber and wax on wood:

and Semaphore,even skinnier at 7.25 x 96 inches made of oil and aluminum on wood.

Both pieces were done in the early 90's.
In an interview from Dialogue with fellow artists Lucinda Parker, Bob Hanson and Cie Goulet, Judy Cooke said "I am very concerned with the idea of an extended line; I've carried the idea around in my head for a very long time. I deal with this extended horizontal because it reminds you in a sense of your relationship to the horizon."
I love that sentiment, so poetic. I also love to think of my relationship to the horizon when I encounter Celebration After the Fact because this canvas has a story of travel with all it's holes showing, telling me it once had a job to do. And a canvas with a job to dO seems like something that should be at sea. Horizon and Sea. Cooke goes on to say "But my approach has nothing to do with depicting nature. My paintings are very concrete, very object like, very specific and kind of blocky." So there is her desire to evoke a horizon and to do itabstractly,that you sense it even in her unnatural blocky specific objects.
It is just such an object that we will dissect this week on 52 Pieces.

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