Domicile - Ashley Norwood Cooper

19 May - 9 June 2020 Online Exhibition

Taymour Grahne is pleased to present Domicile, an online solo exhibition by New York-based artist Ashley Norwood Cooper.


Ashley finds inspiration for her anecdotal canvases through her daily experiences of living in rural New York - as both a matriarch and as a painter. Drawing on an array of references, from contemporary culture to Dutch vanitas, American motifs and domestic rituals, the paintings presented in Domicile revel in personal reminiscences, and how they become reflective of overarching, existential concerns. 


Cooper's affectionate creations start with a loose sketch which is followed by negotiating a collection of shapes that fit into a bigger composition. Time becomes a prerequisite, allowing memories to be revisited and formal investigations as an artist to be explored. Painterly abstract qualities - work in tandem with narrative tableaux’s, informing how Cooper’s scenes (often so relatable), are charmingly created and then realised in front of one’s eyes.  Here, abstraction is favoured, the approach of dealing with ideas rather than definitive events. Photographic enquiries are side-lined for unique details that have the ability to talk about palpable stories instead. 


The picnic, a meal taken alfresco, is a reoccurring endeavour for the characters within these paintings. A universal symbol which also relates to traditional American imagery and foremost the celebration of Independence Day on the 4th of July. These instances hark back to raising a young household, when Cooper would often compose imagery in her head. Sometimes attracted to rays of lights, she would try to memorise them for future translation on to canvas. These picnics, gloriously fictitious and now in hindsight, indulgently delve into moments, whether it be the texture of curled yellow mustard macaroni, or a face that has animatedly taken on the tinted hue of a glass bowl in close proximity. 


Each painted figure is transformed by how Cooper feels about them. One finds a spectrum of emotions, from enamouring and troublesome, to awkward and whimsical. Furthermore, these scenarios take on a new dimension in 2020, where the meaning of a shared experience is morphing. Infused with wit, Cooper's paintings are bombastic yet intimate, and provide subtle contemplations on the many junctures throughout a day.


Most recently, in Jillian Steinhauer's The New York Times recap of art fair week in New York City this past March, Ashley’s work was mentioned as one of the highlights from that week:


"I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one figurative painter here: Ashley Norwood Cooper, with Zinc Contemporary. In high-key color, Ms. Cooper renders intimate scenes of women who seem immersed in their interior lives and creativity (always with cats at hand). Tender and funny, the works stopped me in my tracks.” [1]


1. Steinhauer, Jill, "The Thrill of Unpredictability at Two Art Fairs", New York Times, March 5, 2020. Link here


Cooper has exhibited in solo and group exhibits throughout the US includingFirst Street Gallery (NYC) and ZINCcontemporary(Seattle). Her workhas been featured in New American Paintings and on the I Like Your WorkPodcast. Her recent debut at VOLTANYC2020 garnered write ups in the NY Timesand Arcade Projects Zine (ColumbiaUniversity). She holds an MFAin painting from IndianaUniversity and teaches art at SUNY Oneonta.