ST. LOUIS, MO.- Nicole Cooper
's exhibition entitled Pivotal, of new life-sized figurative oil paintings, explores humanity as a living, evolving force. Humanity is going through a pivotal time. There are profound changes and developments that can affect humanity, either positively or adversely. Cooper's paintings are vivid manifestations of the feelings and life force inside our flesh and blood body. This is Cooper's third solo exhibition and features nearly a dozen paintings.
Rise (2020) is a diptych of multiple figures simultaneously emerging and moving toward a fiery landscape. The rate of global warming is mimicked by the steep curve of the billowing mountain of excess that reaches above the figures and onto another panel of the diptych. The steep curve is at the exact angle of incline from 1983, the year of Cooper's birth, to the present day.
Movement and forward momentum is a constant motif in Cooper's works, especially in the painting Signals (2020). In this painting, a nude woman is walking forward. Cooper loosely paints the pivotal movement of the figure's turning form as it trails behind her. The woman's vagus nerve, which originates in the torso's core, is subtly accentuated by the artist. This nerve is responsible for our "gut feeling" and controls our autonomic nervous system. Cooper uses the velatura painting technique, which shows us the vibrant red underpainting, symbolically exposing internal processes such as thoughts and feelings.
Nicole Cooper lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute (Kansas City, MO) and has completed the Yale Norfolk School of Art Summer Residency with Yale University (Norfolk, CT). Cooper's previous solo exhibitions were at the Schmidt Art Center (Belleville, IL) and Space Architecture and Design (St. Louis, MO). She has exhibited in several group exhibitions in notable venues like COCA Millstone Gallery, Art St. Louis, and the Foundry Art Center and has participated in the Open Studios STL organized by the Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, MO).