Double Vision| Dublin| 2018

Double Vision| Dublin| 2018

Diana Copperwhite is a painter who explores the relationship between colours, gestures, figuration and representation. Copperwhite amalgamates images from the internet, photographs, and real life, unifying these sources in paintings that critically assess the medium’s ability to represent images, sensations, and ideas. For dlr Lexicon she will show paintings and a large wall installation. The pattern for the wall piece is derived from an on-going series of random images and videos sent to her by people in the Dún Laoghaire area.

Crooked orbit | Kevin Kavanagh | Dublin | 2017

Crooked orbit | Kevin Kavanagh | Dublin | 2017

01.06 – 01.07 2017

‘As is well known, the word ‘orbit’ refers to a set route or path around a given point: we on earth orbit the sun, just as the moon orbits us. Perhaps less known, though, is that the word is etymologically coupled with a distinct sense of the optical: from a fourteenth century French word for ‘eye socket’. Seeing, in this understanding, is always underscored by a sense of movement or voyaging: when we look at someone or something, we simultaneously tread a track around it. Perhaps we come close to this object, but we don’t get to touch it. [continued below]

I kept this double meaning in mind when thinking about Diana Copperwhite’s recent paintings. In this latest exhibition, Crooked Orbit, these are large and at least initially discordant works. It seems as though no colour has been left aside, from lurid fuchsias and cobalt blues, to neon yellow and swatches of minty green. Recurring throughout the canvases, there is also a gradient effect achieved by loading the brush with different shades of paint; and this has a consequence of suggesting that these paintings have almost outgrown the tools of their creation, those tools then being forced to convey, through colour, as much as they possibly can. Sometimes these gradient interventions are vertical and regular; at others, they are less uniform, cast in a halting semi-circle or upturned ‘u’. Throughout, they act to create the impression of space within the paintings: in one, a narrow swathe of grey, pink and white, has the look of an outstretched arm, a slight sag in the middle where the elbow could be; in another, a flat vertical plane of what looks like four gradient drags cuts a dint of architectural space. But, even when working in unison, each of these is just one gesture, loaded to capacity and worked until it dissipates, the paint run out or stopped short from further decline. Representation is at most, never quite; cast as it is though a series of distinct marks, the whole remains fragmentary, gestured towards but never quite pinned down’.

Extracted from Awkward Angle of Perception, by Rebecca O’Dwyer.

Last Picture Show | New York | 2017

Last Picture Show | New York | 2017

Depend on the Morning Sun | NY | 2016

Depend on the Morning Sun | NY | 2016

Shadowlands

Shadowlands | NY | 2015

532 GALLERY THOMAS JAECKEL
November 13 – January 10, New York, 532 West 25th Street

When describing Diana Copperwhite’s work Colm Toibin wrote:

Her work is about painting first and foremost; [these] references merely serve a purpose.  Thus digital images which freeze and fragment an original image fascinate her, but such images in themselves are not enough, they provide a way into the painting.  It is their visuality which inspires rather than any precise sense of a blurred or fragmented reality.   Because she physically likes making paintings, everything is subservient to what paint will achieve.”

Copperwhite makes paintings that move fluidly between representation and abstraction. Photographs, montage and assemblage all aid the process and become ancillary works that pin down fleeting thoughts, glimpses and reactions to a media saturated age.  Her interests and sources are eclectic and wide ranging, from social media to philosophical debate to art historical references.  Yet, as Toibin points out, her paintings are no more about the image than they are about the process of painting itself.  Her work is phenomenological in that momentarily emotional responses override the need to capture reality.  Something has piqued her interest and from that initial interest she thinks in colour, in tone, and texture, in setting herself a visual problem to which there is no single definitive solution.  Her palette is composed of murky undertones punctuated by bright neon rifts. The fluidity and expressiveness of the painting gives little hint of the rigorous and formal abstract principles applied to the making.

Diana Copperwhite studied Fine Art Painting at Limerick School of Art and Design and the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She completed an MFA at Winchestor School of Art, Barcelona in 2000.  Diana is a tutor at the National College of Art and Design,Dublin.  Her work is in the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Arts Council of Ireland, and also in collections in the United States, Europe and Australia.

The writer Colm Toibin is currently Irene and Sidney B Silverman Professor of Humanities at Columbia University.  He is an IMPAC Dublin Literary Award prizewinner, and has appeared on the Booker shortlist, most recently in 2013 for his play the Testament of Mary.