Los AngelesThomas Joshua Cooper: The Capes of California
Artist Talk: Thomas Joshua Cooper in Conversation with Michael Govan. Saturday 23 November, 11.30am. Booking
Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles presents ‘The Capes of California,’ a project by artist Thomas Joshua Cooper commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and supported by Lannan Foundation and Ann Tenenbaum & Thomas H. Lee, as a complement to the exhibition on view at LACMA, ‘Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge.’
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Organized in coordination with the Museum, the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles comprises 19 monumentally scaled photographs that together trace the extraordinary coast of California, the artist’s home state. The body of work represents the culmination of Cooper’s epic ‘Atlas’ project, an expedition that has captivated him for the last thirty years making pictures within the furthest reaches of the globe.
‘Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge’ is on view now through 2 February 2020 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Thomas Joshua Cooper has remarked about ‘The Capes of California’:
‘California is nearly 910 miles long and home to fourteen sea-coastal counties, each with sea points or a cape. Between Thanksgiving and the winter solstice 2018, Catherine Mooney and I drove nearly 3,000 miles to find these sites. I made pictures in each of these counties for “The Capes of California,” a three-part, nineteen-picture work.’
About ‘Thomas Joshua Cooper: The World’s Edge’ at LACMA
For 50 years, Thomas Joshua Cooper has been making photographs outdoors. Often realized through intense physical travel to remote and isolated sites, these stunning, large-scale, black-and-white photographs encapsulate the psychological impact of the place through geographic and atmospheric details. The exhibition, comprising 65 large-scale and 75 8 x 10 black-and-white photographs, showcases Cooper’s ‘The Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity, The World’s Edge, the Atlantic Basin Project,’ which he first embarked upon in 1987, to chart the Atlantic Basin from the extreme points of each north, south, east, and west coordinate. Using a 19th-century Agfa Ansco view camera, his singular exposure of each site includes neither a horizon line nor the terrain below his feet, but rather the surrounding ‘sea spaces’ that are unique, dissimilar, and not readily identifiable. For him each place is a point of departure allowing contemplation of the ocean’s emptiness beyond the extreme points of the land.
About Thomas Joshua Cooper
Born in San Francisco in 1946, Thomas Joshua Cooper studied art, philosophy, and literature at Humboldt State University before completing his Masters of Art in Photography at the University of New Mexico in 1972. His first solo show was held in 1971, and since then, he has been the subject of over 75 solo exhibitions throughout the world. He established the Fine Art Photography program at the Glasgow School of Art in 1982, where he has taught for over thirty years as the Head of the Fine Art Photography Department. He has received numerous awards including a Photography Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1978) and a John Simon Guggenheim Award (2009). In 2010, Cooper was the first recipient of the Lannan Visual Arts Award. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Cooper’s photographs can be found in public collections worldwide, including The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; The J. Paul Getty Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; Nimes Museum of Contemporary Art, France; The Polaroid Collection, Frankfurt; Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; The Tate Gallery, London; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Image: Looking into the Sun – Late afternoon. The California / Mexico Border Fence – The End . The North Pacific Ocean [Border Field State Park, Tijuana River Valley Beach, San Diego County, California, USA, North America], 2018/2019. Selenium-and gold-tone chlorobromide gelatin silver print; hand toned, printed and mounted by the artist 76.2 x 101.6 cm / 30 x 40 in © Thomas Joshua Cooper. Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art