PICNIC AT SUNSET: a solo exhibition of works by Ashley Norwood Cooper
ZINC contemporary is pleased to present a major upcoming exhibition with New York-based artist Ashley Norwood Cooper, PICNIC AT SUNSET. Her large-scale figurative oil paintings illuminate the tender-hearted vaudeville of domesticity, motherhood, and humanity, through the heroic lens of the ordinary.
Within this new series, Norwood Cooper attempts to disentangle the uncertainty embedded in our socially isolated reality, correlating this time in history with the tenuous space that occurs at the edge of the wood, with imagined figures like crones and witches, both healing and dangerous. The vultures that circle over the rural New York village where she lives, served as the impetus for her new work, as she found herself isolated in their shadows.
“I started to realize that artists are like vultures, inhabiting the liminal spaces, watching everything with their beady eyes. We seek out the dead and dying meanings and break them down to create fertile ground for new things to grow. Am I just another crazy old bird, with a pink head and beady eyes, trying to survive in a world I don’t understand? Here at sunset, at the edge of the woods, the shadows grow long, borders blur, paint drips, and I’m not sure anymore.” - Ashley Norwood Cooper
The works openly jests at the dichotomy between technology and nature, during this new epoch of reliance on tools like Zoom, while being drawn to natural spaces and interior habitats filled with plants in search of wonder and connection. Butterflies, bees, bunnies, and insects reflect the nostalgia of childhood, as she investigates familiar themes in her work: shared memory, family, and the domestic experience.
Last spring, at the onset of the pandemic, Norwood Cooper exhibited with ZINC contemporary at VOLTA NYC Art Fair 2020, receiving a glowing review from Jillian Steinhauer of The New York Times, “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one figurative painter here: Ashley Norwood Cooper, with ZINC. 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.” Her exhibit was followed by a highly visited virtual exhibition with London-based art dealer Taymour Grahne, entitled DOMICILE.
On the Bright Side: Local Artist’s Paintings To Be Featured In Seattle GalleryGreg Klein, The Daily Star, February 8, 2021
Finding Humor at VOLTA New York 2020Nancy Elsamanoudi, Arcade Project Zine, March 6, 2020