June 05, 2013 Print this article
It is curious that Mark Cooper's work, which is the most visually and spatially boisterous, the most materially lustful (though not the most fetishistic) of the four finalists', is that which directly references Buddhist cultures, concepts and practices of meditation, contemplation, immateriality and emptiness. The jovial mess named yu yu tangerine isn't the cast-off of a frenzied unburdening. It is the offspring of a creative process that harnesses visual language from a multiplicity of sources, pulling a commotion of color, line, shape, texture, form into a single space, and leaving it there like some gargantuan feast for our eyes. It feels compulsive and libidinous—devoid of restraint.
The most confounding elements, on the other hand, were the photographs from the artist's travels in Asia, which draw sharp rectangles in an installation of otherwise fluid lines, and imbue the work with a literalism it wasn't burdened with up to that point. In his interview with the show's curator, Helen Molesworth, Cooper states he took over 8000 pictures while traveling, a passing statement which speaks to the overall challenge evident in this show—Cooper has a hard time editing himself.
Every two years the ICA holds the James and Audrey Foster Prize by creating a short list of Boston artists of "exceptional promise" and establishing a panel of professionals to assess those artists. All four of the short-listed artists exhibit at the ICA, and one is announced as the James and Audrey Foster Prize winner.
This year’s short list is Sarah Bapst, Katarina Burin, Mark Cooper, and Luther Price.
This year’s jury is Mark Dion, artist; Paul Ha, director of MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; and Ali Subotnick, curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
This week we will be running reviews for all the artists on display. They will be in alphabetical order.
We here at Big Red & Shiny congratulate Katarina Burin for winning this year’s James and Audrey Foster Prize.
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