© Thomas Joshua Cooper

South - The Mid Atlantic Ocean, 2004
Silver gelatin print, 71 x 91 cm

Thomas Joshua Cooper
point of no return

Thomas Joshua Cooper (born California 1946) is one of the world's most celebrated and distinctive landscape artists and photographers. The Haunch of Venison exhibition, "point of no return", is the most important presentation of Cooper's photographs in the UK since his mid-career exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 1989.

From 1969 Cooper has worked with a nineteenth-century field camera, mapping the modern landscape in exquisite black and white photographs in the tradition of the great pioneers of American photography such as Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Each work begins as a location found on a map, researched, tracked down and then the picture is made. Each site, the subject of a single frame. Cooper then makes silver prints of the images with layers of selenium and gold chloride.

Cooper's most ambitious project is "The World's Edge - The Atlantic Basin" Project, an epic endeavour begun in 1990 to map the extremities of the land and islands that surround the entire Atlantic Ocean. The Haunch of Venison exhibition, "point of no return", marks the completion of Part I of this project, with the first showing of photographs mapping the western, northern and southern points of the continents of Europe and Africa. The exhibition includes more than thirty works made in over ten countries including Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Norway.

Cooper's work is about nature and humanity's place within it. The works explore the boundaries of human civilization, both temporal and physical. Michael Govan, Director, Dia Art Foundation has written: "Cooper's own life is a composite of an era where geography is known, but cultural and personal identities are continually shifting, only to be remapped on our perceived finite globe. His art is an expression of the never-ending exploration of the edges of our own human identity, a journey that today remains fraught with uncertainties, or even peril...".

Cooper grew up in rural Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota, California and Oregon. He studied art, literature and philosophy, obtaining a Master's degree in fine art in 1972, before teaching in England, the US and Tasmania. He is Professor and Senior Researcher for Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art. Cooper's work is in numerous public collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Tate Collection. Cooper has held over fifty solo exhibitions since 1971 across Europe and America.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book with an essay by Duncan Macmillan, Professor of Art History at the University of Edinburgh. An interview with the artist by art critic, Nick Hackworth, is also published in the book.

Exhibition: September 22 - 26 October 2004
Opening hours: Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri 10 am - 6 pm
Thu 10 am - 7 pm, Sat 10 - 5 pm

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