Strong Female Lead: Mary 3
acrylic on canvas
20" x 16"
(b. 1963 – Hamilton, AL) Working from digital stills and photographs, Lane Cooper paints images that demand both close attention and to be viewed from varying distances. Fragmented, horizontal bands pulse with a frenetic energy that distorts the image and provides the architectural provocation for us to consider multiple perspectives on the central protagonist or scene.
This painting features a depiction of Mary Tyler Moore, a seminal 1970s television icon, here filtered through colorful layers of careful line work and single-color circles. The distortion and obfuscation problematize a clear read of the figure and push the subject matter deeper into the background. The line waves that cut through the mouth and eye areas are potent and arresting, the “power features” of this generationally influential entertainer simultaneously concealed and activated. Cooper elevates a personal idol for reconsideration by a younger generation, avoiding pop stereotypes and encouraging a fresh evaluation. A cultural leader herself, Cooper’s work highlights the life-line that connects the strong women of the past to the strong women of the future.
Cooper received an MFA in Painting from the University of Alabama and an MA in Art History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has had solo exhibitions at a number of galleries, including Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland, OH, Lyda Rose Gallery, Birmingham, AL, and Waterloo Arts Gallery, Collinwood, OH. Cooper is Associate Professor and Chair of Painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art.