Review: Dan Cooper, 'Seasons' 

****1/2
click to enlarge Reflection by Dan Cooper
  • Reflection by Dan Cooper

What does it mean to be a regionalist painter nowadays? Certainly, it means acknowledging the local landscape - in this case the Hoosier landscape - in your work. Of course, there are a lot of painters out there painting lakes, covered bridges, bovine cud-chewers, etc. To the extent that they look to the past for inspiration, rather than the present, they traffic in nostalgia.

Dan Cooper is not one of these painters. Cooper is interested in painting the Hoosier landscape in a contemporary way. Thus, you'll see highway overpasses in his paintings, in addition to farms and fields.

His paintings also incorporate contemporary ideas about astrophysics and string theory. Take "Doppler," for example, where you see one half of a rural landscape swallowed up by a circular swath of blank canvas approximating the shape of a radar wave. And, in the acrylic on canvas "Slice of Time," which portrays a line of trees in white paint on a background of white paint (varying slightly in tone), he shows what our world might look like to an alien visitor, from another dimension, passing through on an expedited intergalactic schedule.

Cooper doesn't restrict himself to canvas and paint, however, to express his manifold ideas. He's also acquired a virtuosity in photography (on display in the "The Little Pitcher Has Grown Up") as well as videography. Check out "Seasons," a video he made featuring footage of the Indiana landscape in conjunction with poetry by Bovary Taritas and music by Justin Lahr. Through June 29 at Gallery 924

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