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Barbara Cooper: re:Growth

Bellevue Arts Museum, WA – through Apr 22

Jane Everett - Armor For A Work Horse II

Barbara Cooper, Surge (2002, wood, glue [Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, through Apr 22]

Barbara Cooper’s new exhibition highlights a decade of the artist’s investigation of organic forms that mimic growth found in nature.

Comparable to structures found in the forest, Cooper’s life-size forms resemble tree trunks and other natural patterns. The Chicago-based artist creates her sculptures by gluing together layers of wood veneer that she salvages from milling plants and furniture factories. The resulting forms parallel the regenerative and resilient qualities of the natural world.

Cooper is interested in how a living form evolves and changes from one condition to another. Her use of recycled wood is symbolic of this transformation, turning the discarded industrial material into new forms akin to it’s original source. Not only does Cooper’s approach echo the tenacity of life, her undulating forms move through space creating a sense that time has passed as in an old growth forest.

The twists, grooves and contours of her sculptures suggest a vitality that reflects the relationship between a living thing and it’s response to the environment. In both method and material Cooper’s work embodies this quality of adaptability essential for survival.

Barbara Cooper’s work is included in many prominent collections including the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. This exhibition includes a full-scolour catalogue.

Allyn Cantor

Barbara Cooper - Columna

ABOVE Barbara Cooper, Columna (1998), wood, glue [Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, through Apr 22]

BELOW Barbara Cooper, Schist (2000), wood, glue [Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, through Apr 22]

Barbara Cooper - Schist

Barbara Cooper - Oculus

Barbara Cooper, Oculus (2004), wood, glue [Bellevue Arts Museum, WA, through Apr 22]

 Wed, Feb 7, 2007