James Cooper Images

Joined Artfinder: Dec. 2014

Artworks for sale: 44

United States

About James Cooper Images

 
 
  • Biography

    "A similar sense of calm informs James Cooper's three renderings of distant horizons. They manage to recall Hiroshi Sugimoto seascapes and color-field painting both."

    Mark Feeney, arts writer, reviewer, and editor, Boston Globe

    "In his unmanipulated, sweeping American landscapes - captured with transparency film - James Cooper's alluring compositions feature simple shapes and geometries with minimal detail, elevating his work into elegant abstract imagery."

    Elin Spring, photography writer, What Will You Remember?

    "Cooper's 'Surf Beach Station' is compelling.”

    Daniella Walsh, art critic

    "The fact is that when one stands in front of one of James Cooper's works, one wonders in this era of computer graphics, if his images have been manipulated. The answer is no; they are unmanipulated.”

    Antoinette Sullivan, Studio Gallery


    About

    Suggestive of the American modernism Precisionism movement, the work is characterized by the reduction of compositions to simple shapes and underlying geometrical structures, with clear outlines, minimal detail, unexpected viewpoints and framing, and an emphasis on the abstract form of the subject.

    American Precisionists focused on selecting subjects from the American landscape and regional American culture. Many of the same artists applied their new style to long-familiar American scenes, such as agricultural structures and domestic architecture. Even such conventional motifs as a still life of fruit or flowers were treated to a fresh assessment in the Precisionist style. Their paintings, drawings, and prints also showed the influence of recent work by American photographers, such as Paul Strand, who were utilizing sharp focus and lighting, unexpected viewpoints and cropping, and emphasis on the abstract form of the subject.

    The style is evident in Ellsworth Kelly's photographs, from 1950s through the 1980s of barns, their interlocking forms evoking the planes of his own paintings and sculptures. Central to many of these images are windows, roofs, and the shadows they cast. He explains that "[...] I'm not interested in the texture of the rock, or that it is a rock, but in the mass of it, and its shadow."

    The connections between the Precisionist approach and a wider social context were strong. One view was the utopian ideal of technology bringing order to the modern world by enhancing the speed, efficiency, and cleanliness of everyday life. The opposing view stressed the dehumanizing effects of technology, warning that it would replace workers, create pollution, and dominate the landscape in a destructive manner. Occasionally, these two attitudes coexisted in an ambiguous tension within a single work of art.

    "Artist friends would say to me, snickering a little, 'What can a camera do in making art. It is just a camera'. Then one of them asks for help in making an image with a camera (a backlit telephone pole with just the foot pegs lit). We made it, he showed it at Otis (College of Art and Design) and people said 'Wow, that's cool'."

    By using just a camera and film, and not altering the film image in printing a photograph, what kind of images can be made?

    Really the image should be an experience - it should shift you. Maybe make you smile. Remember when you were a child how a simple little thing could galvanize your entire being - time stood still and you felt totally connected to the world - there was a feeling of total contentment? And, an image made with film has a certain feel to it.

    The photographic image should be an accurate record of what the camera and film captured. A transparency film image processed through standard chemistry, with the absolute minimum disturbance of the captured image during the processing and finishing stages, is the paradigm for an unmanipulated image. So, just a camera and some film.


  • Links
  • Awards

    2018

    International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) - honorable mention

    “Harmony” competition, international juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Beckett's Spirit.

    Show more awardsHide

    2018

    The 12th Pollux Awards - Series Winner

    Series winner of the Landscape and Seascape category: Agriculture Series - Agricultural Fields.

    2018

    International Color Awards, 11th Annual competition - nominee

    11th Annual Competition, international juried group exhibition, various jurors, Nominee: Field #13

    2017

    Juror Merit Award

    Sanchez Art Center, mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Sayre Batton, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Field #6.

    2016

    Gallery 110

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Melissa Feldman, independent curator and faculty at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, the California College of Art, the San Francisco Art Institute and Goldsmith’s College in London, Seattle, WA. Juror award: Field #12. 2016.

    2016

    Artslant 2nd 2016 Showcase Winner

    Rice Silo

    2016

    International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) - honorable mention.

    Selected by various jurors, recent images added to the Agriculture Series.

    2015

    Artslant 2nd 2015 Showcase Winner

    Field #12

    2015

    Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) "White"

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: White Barn.

    2015

    Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) Annual

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series.

    2014

    Artslant 4th 2014 Showcase Winner

    Lettuce Field

    2014

    Artslant 6th 2014 Showcase Winner

    Clover

    2013

    International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation)

    Honorable Mention - Agriculture Series.

    2013

    Artslant 7th 2013 Showcase Winner

    Field #6

    2012

    Artslant 4th 2012 Showcase Winner

    Color Field #3

    2010

    Prix De La Photographie Paris (PX3)

    Honorable Mention - Soldiers Per Gallon.

    2010

    Prix De La Photographie Paris (PX3)

    Honorable Mention - Vineyard Tree.
  • Upcoming Events

    There are no upcoming events

    Show previous eventsHide previous events

    Previous events

    Event: International Competition

    Dates: May 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

    Venue: Texas Photographic Society, Frisco, TX

    Texas Photographic Society International Competition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, TX (2018, touring to the Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene, TX, 2018 and the Options Gallery at Odessa College, Odessa, TX, 2019) international juried group exhibition, juried by Kate Breakey, photographer.

    Event: Fall National Juried Exhibition “AbstrAction”

    Dates: Oct. 14, 2017 - Nov. 19, 2017

    Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

    Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Catharine Clark, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco and New York, 2017.

    Event: The Print Center 91st Annual International Competition

    Dates: May 1, 2017 - July 4, 2017

    Venue: The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Kelly Baum, the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Jennifer Farrell, Associate Curator, Drawings and Prints, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

    Event: Annual PRC Juried Exhibition

    Dates: April 28, 2017 - June 10, 2017

    Venue: Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Sarah Kennel, The Bryne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, 2017.

    Event: Left Coast Annual Juried Exhibition

    Dates: April 21, 2017 - May 21, 2017

    Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Sayre Batton, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, 2017.

    Event: Primary Colors

    Dates: April 18, 2017 - June 14, 2017

    Venue: New York Center for Photographic Art, Jadite Gallery, 413 West 50th St. New York, NY 10019

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Ann M. Jastrab, Gallery Director, Rayko Photo Center and Gallery, San Francisco, CA,

    Event: A Smith Gallery

    Dates: Dec. 16, 2016 - Jan. 28, 2017

    Venue: A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, 78636

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Michael Kenna, photographer.

    Event: 2016 International Juried Exhibition

    Dates: Nov. 12, 2016 - Dec. 23, 2016

    Venue: Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA 93921

    Center for Photographic Art, international juried group exhibition, juried by Linde B. Lehtinen, PhD., Assistant Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA.

    Event: Fall National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: Oct. 29, 2016 - Dec. 4, 2016

    Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Snyder, Gallery Director, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

    Event: 2016 American Art Today: What is American Art?

    Dates: Oct. 1, 2016 - Dec. 11, 2016

    Venue: The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts, Highlands, NC

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Dr. William U. Eiland, Director of the Georgia Museum of Art, Highlands, NC.

    Event: A Smith Gallery

    Dates: Aug. 12, 2016 - Sept. 18, 2016

    Venue: A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, the USA

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Julie Blackmon, photographer, Johnson City, TX.

    Event: Colorado Photographic Arts Center

    Dates: Aug. 5, 2016 - Aug. 27, 2016

    Venue: Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Tim Wride, Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL.

    Event: 11th National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: Aug. 5, 2016 - Aug. 28, 2016

    Venue: Axis Gallery, Sacramento, CA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Gregory Volk, art writer, contributing editor for Art in America, independent curator, and lecturer, New York, NY.

    Event: FotoFilmic’16 International Juried Film Photography Competition

    Dates: May 5, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2016

    Venue: FotoFilmic, Vancouver, BC

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors, Shortlist.

    Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: April 15, 2016 - May 22, 2016

    Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Lucía Sanromán, Director of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 2016.

    Event: 9th Annual Competition

    Dates: March 1, 2016 - May 20, 2016

    Venue: International Color Awards, Los Angeles, CA

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors, Nominee.

    Event: 6th Annual Juried Show Exhibition

    Dates: Feb. 3, 2016 - Feb. 27, 2016

    Venue: Gallery 110, Seattle

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Melissa Feldman, independent curator and taught at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, the California College of Art, the San Francisco Art Institute and Goldsmith’s College in London, Seattle, WA, 2016.

    Event: Summer National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: June 6, 2015 - July 10, 2015

    Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Nancy Meyer, Curatorial Assistant of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art, CA, 2015.

    Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: April 17, 2015 - May 8, 2015

    Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Cathy Kimball, Chief Curator, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, CA, 2015.

    Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) Annual competition

    Dates: April 2, 2015 - June 26, 2015

    Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series. 2015.

    Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) “White” competition

    Dates: March 1, 2015 - June 1, 2015

    Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: White Barn. 2015.

    Event: Nature

    Dates: Oct. 1, 2014 - Dec. 16, 2014

    Venue: The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Spiritus, Director, Susan Spiritus Gallery, CA.

    Event: Don't Take Pictures Magazine

    Dates: Sept. 30, 2014 - Nov. 29, 2014

    Venue: The Kiernan Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Kat Kiernan, Roger Thompson, Jack Romano, Kate Ziegler, and Shannon Mohrman, Lexington, VA

    Event: The Photo Review

    Dates: Sept. 2, 2014 - Dec. 31, 2014

    Venue: The Photo Review, Langhorne, PA

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

    Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

    Dates: March 27, 2014 - May 20, 2014

    Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

    Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator for painting and sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA

    Event: The Art of Photography Show

    Dates: Oct. 1, 2013 - Nov. 29, 2013

    Venue: The Art of Photography Show, San Diego, CA

    Juried group exhibition, juried by Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

    Event: International Photography Awards

    Dates: Aug. 1, 2013 - Oct. 31, 2013

    Venue: International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation),, Los Angeles, CA

    Juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series.

    Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3)

    Dates: June 1, 2010 - Nov. 23, 2010

    Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

    International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mentions: Vineyard Tree and Soldiers Per Gallon

Links


Awards

2018

International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) - honorable mention

“Harmony” competition, international juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Beckett's Spirit.

Show more awardsHide

2018

The 12th Pollux Awards - Series Winner

Series winner of the Landscape and Seascape category: Agriculture Series - Agricultural Fields.

2018

International Color Awards, 11th Annual competition - nominee

11th Annual Competition, international juried group exhibition, various jurors, Nominee: Field #13

2017

Juror Merit Award

Sanchez Art Center, mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Sayre Batton, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Field #6.

2016

Gallery 110

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Melissa Feldman, independent curator and faculty at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, the California College of Art, the San Francisco Art Institute and Goldsmith’s College in London, Seattle, WA. Juror award: Field #12. 2016.

2016

Artslant 2nd 2016 Showcase Winner

Rice Silo

2016

International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation) - honorable mention.

Selected by various jurors, recent images added to the Agriculture Series.

2015

Artslant 2nd 2015 Showcase Winner

Field #12

2015

Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) "White"

International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: White Barn.

2015

Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) Annual

International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series.

2014

Artslant 4th 2014 Showcase Winner

Lettuce Field

2014

Artslant 6th 2014 Showcase Winner

Clover

2013

International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation)

Honorable Mention - Agriculture Series.

2013

Artslant 7th 2013 Showcase Winner

Field #6

2012

Artslant 4th 2012 Showcase Winner

Color Field #3

2010

Prix De La Photographie Paris (PX3)

Honorable Mention - Soldiers Per Gallon.

2010

Prix De La Photographie Paris (PX3)

Honorable Mention - Vineyard Tree.

There are no upcoming events

Show previous eventsHide previous events

Previous events

Event: International Competition

Dates: May 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

Venue: Texas Photographic Society, Frisco, TX

Texas Photographic Society International Competition, Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, TX (2018, touring to the Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene, TX, 2018 and the Options Gallery at Odessa College, Odessa, TX, 2019) international juried group exhibition, juried by Kate Breakey, photographer.

Event: Fall National Juried Exhibition “AbstrAction”

Dates: Oct. 14, 2017 - Nov. 19, 2017

Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Catharine Clark, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco and New York, 2017.

Event: The Print Center 91st Annual International Competition

Dates: May 1, 2017 - July 4, 2017

Venue: The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Kelly Baum, the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, and Jennifer Farrell, Associate Curator, Drawings and Prints, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.

Event: Annual PRC Juried Exhibition

Dates: April 28, 2017 - June 10, 2017

Venue: Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA

Juried group exhibition, juried by Sarah Kennel, The Bryne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, 2017.

Event: Left Coast Annual Juried Exhibition

Dates: April 21, 2017 - May 21, 2017

Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Sayre Batton, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, 2017.

Event: Primary Colors

Dates: April 18, 2017 - June 14, 2017

Venue: New York Center for Photographic Art, Jadite Gallery, 413 West 50th St. New York, NY 10019

Juried group exhibition, juried by Ann M. Jastrab, Gallery Director, Rayko Photo Center and Gallery, San Francisco, CA,

Event: A Smith Gallery

Dates: Dec. 16, 2016 - Jan. 28, 2017

Venue: A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, 78636

Juried group exhibition, juried by Michael Kenna, photographer.

Event: 2016 International Juried Exhibition

Dates: Nov. 12, 2016 - Dec. 23, 2016

Venue: Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA 93921

Center for Photographic Art, international juried group exhibition, juried by Linde B. Lehtinen, PhD., Assistant Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA.

Event: Fall National Juried Exhibition

Dates: Oct. 29, 2016 - Dec. 4, 2016

Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Snyder, Gallery Director, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Event: 2016 American Art Today: What is American Art?

Dates: Oct. 1, 2016 - Dec. 11, 2016

Venue: The Bascom Center for the Visual Arts, Highlands, NC

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Dr. William U. Eiland, Director of the Georgia Museum of Art, Highlands, NC.

Event: A Smith Gallery

Dates: Aug. 12, 2016 - Sept. 18, 2016

Venue: A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, the USA

Juried group exhibition, juried by Julie Blackmon, photographer, Johnson City, TX.

Event: Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Dates: Aug. 5, 2016 - Aug. 27, 2016

Venue: Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO

Juried group exhibition, juried by Tim Wride, Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL.

Event: 11th National Juried Exhibition

Dates: Aug. 5, 2016 - Aug. 28, 2016

Venue: Axis Gallery, Sacramento, CA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Gregory Volk, art writer, contributing editor for Art in America, independent curator, and lecturer, New York, NY.

Event: FotoFilmic’16 International Juried Film Photography Competition

Dates: May 5, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2016

Venue: FotoFilmic, Vancouver, BC

International juried group exhibition, various jurors, Shortlist.

Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

Dates: April 15, 2016 - May 22, 2016

Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Lucía Sanromán, Director of Visual Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 2016.

Event: 9th Annual Competition

Dates: March 1, 2016 - May 20, 2016

Venue: International Color Awards, Los Angeles, CA

International juried group exhibition, various jurors, Nominee.

Event: 6th Annual Juried Show Exhibition

Dates: Feb. 3, 2016 - Feb. 27, 2016

Venue: Gallery 110, Seattle

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Melissa Feldman, independent curator and taught at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, the California College of Art, the San Francisco Art Institute and Goldsmith’s College in London, Seattle, WA, 2016.

Event: Summer National Juried Exhibition

Dates: June 6, 2015 - July 10, 2015

Venue: Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Nancy Meyer, Curatorial Assistant of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art, CA, 2015.

Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

Dates: April 17, 2015 - May 8, 2015

Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Cathy Kimball, Chief Curator, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, CA, 2015.

Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) Annual competition

Dates: April 2, 2015 - June 26, 2015

Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series. 2015.

Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3) “White” competition

Dates: March 1, 2015 - June 1, 2015

Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: White Barn. 2015.

Event: Nature

Dates: Oct. 1, 2014 - Dec. 16, 2014

Venue: The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

Juried group exhibition, juried by Susan Spiritus, Director, Susan Spiritus Gallery, CA.

Event: Don't Take Pictures Magazine

Dates: Sept. 30, 2014 - Nov. 29, 2014

Venue: The Kiernan Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Juried group exhibition, juried by Kat Kiernan, Roger Thompson, Jack Romano, Kate Ziegler, and Shannon Mohrman, Lexington, VA

Event: The Photo Review

Dates: Sept. 2, 2014 - Dec. 31, 2014

Venue: The Photo Review, Langhorne, PA

Juried group exhibition, juried by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Event: Left Coast National Juried Exhibition

Dates: March 27, 2014 - May 20, 2014

Venue: Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, California, USA

Mixed media juried group exhibition, juried by Jenny Gheith, assistant curator for painting and sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA

Event: The Art of Photography Show

Dates: Oct. 1, 2013 - Nov. 29, 2013

Venue: The Art of Photography Show, San Diego, CA

Juried group exhibition, juried by Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

Event: International Photography Awards

Dates: Aug. 1, 2013 - Oct. 31, 2013

Venue: International Photography Awards (Lucie Foundation),, Los Angeles, CA

Juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mention: Agriculture Series.

Event: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3)

Dates: June 1, 2010 - Nov. 23, 2010

Venue: Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), Paris

International juried group exhibition, various jurors. Honorable mentions: Vineyard Tree and Soldiers Per Gallon


 

Biography

"A similar sense of calm informs James Cooper's three renderings of distant horizons. They manage to recall Hiroshi Sugimoto seascapes and color-field painting both."

Mark Feeney, arts writer, reviewer, and editor, Boston Globe

"In his unmanipulated, sweeping American landscapes - captured with transparency film - James Cooper's alluring compositions feature simple shapes and geometries with minimal detail, elevating his work into elegant abstract imagery."

Elin Spring, photography writer, What Will You Remember?

"Cooper's 'Surf Beach Station' is compelling.”

Daniella Walsh, art critic

"The fact is that when one stands in front of one of James Cooper's works, one wonders in this era of computer graphics, if his images have been manipulated. The answer is no; they are unmanipulated.”

Antoinette Sullivan, Studio Gallery


About

Suggestive of the American modernism Precisionism movement, the work is characterized by the reduction of compositions to simple shapes and underlying geometrical structures, with clear outlines, minimal detail, unexpected viewpoints and framing, and an emphasis on the abstract form of the subject.

American Precisionists focused on selecting subjects from the American landscape and regional American culture. Many of the same artists applied their new style to long-familiar American scenes, such as agricultural structures and domestic architecture. Even such conventional motifs as a still life of fruit or flowers were treated to a fresh assessment in the Precisionist style. Their paintings, drawings, and prints also showed the influence of recent work by American photographers, such as Paul Strand, who were utilizing sharp focus and lighting, unexpected viewpoints and cropping, and emphasis on the abstract form of the subject.

The style is evident in Ellsworth Kelly's photographs, from 1950s through the 1980s of barns, their interlocking forms evoking the planes of his own paintings and sculptures. Central to many of these images are windows, roofs, and the shadows they cast. He explains that "[...] I'm not interested in the texture of the rock, or that it is a rock, but in the mass of it, and its shadow."

The connections between the Precisionist approach and a wider social context were strong. One view was the utopian ideal of technology bringing order to the modern world by enhancing the speed, efficiency, and cleanliness of everyday life. The opposing view stressed the dehumanizing effects of technology, warning that it would replace workers, create pollution, and dominate the landscape in a destructive manner. Occasionally, these two attitudes coexisted in an ambiguous tension within a single work of art.

"Artist friends would say to me, snickering a little, 'What can a camera do in making art. It is just a camera'. Then one of them asks for help in making an image with a camera (a backlit telephone pole with just the foot pegs lit). We made it, he showed it at Otis (College of Art and Design) and people said 'Wow, that's cool'."

By using just a camera and film, and not altering the film image in printing a photograph, what kind of images can be made?

Really the image should be an experience - it should shift you. Maybe make you smile. Remember when you were a child how a simple little thing could galvanize your entire being - time stood still and you felt totally connected to the world - there was a feeling of total contentment? And, an image made with film has a certain feel to it.

The photographic image should be an accurate record of what the camera and film captured. A transparency film image processed through standard chemistry, with the absolute minimum disturbance of the captured image during the processing and finishing stages, is the paradigm for an unmanipulated image. So, just a camera and some film.


 
 
 
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