Thomas Joshua Cooper
19 November – 17 December 1999
Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present the work of photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper. Born in San Francisco in 1946, the exhibition is a kind of homecoming for Cooper. Using the age-old medium of black and white landscape photography, Cooper produces images that are both romantic and meditative, bringing to mind the work of Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko more than any photographic reference. This exhibition will include work from a series of images taken of Scottish rivers as well as the most recent body of work from a 3000-mile stretch of the rugged coast of Newfoundland.
Cooper employs a century-old view camera and literally treks to the "ends of the earth" to find locations for his shots. Many of his sites are charged with a rich historical reference that is often noted in the lengthy titles. Cooper often uses extremely long exposures to create an image that appears to be abstract until one realizes that a current or a bird has been reduced to an elegant white line against a black backdrop of water.
The printing process further enhances the intense and emotive nature of the work. Cooper's technical mastery of the photographic medium is renowned. The images are hand tinted with selenium and gold, and though the edition size is kept to under five, the painterly process ensures that each print is unique.
Cooper is a member of the Cherokee nation and lived on Indian reservations throughout the Western United States as a young man. For the last twenty years, he has lived in Glasgow, Scotland, where he is a professor of photography at the Glasgow School of Art. In 1998, Mr. Cooper was the recipient of a large grant from the Lannan Foundation. He will use this to produce a body of work, which will culminate in an exhibition at the Dia Center for the Arts as well as a major publication. In addition, the Los Angeles County Museum is planning a retrospective exhibition that will take place in 2001-2002.