Diana Copperwhite, Polly Apfelbaum, David Batchelor, Alan Butler, James Clar, Jenny Holzer, Mark Joyce, Brigitte Kowanz, Dennis McNulty, Emer O’ Boyle and Grace Weir at Glucksman, University of Cork.
November 13 – January 10, 2015
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 Her interests and sources are eclectic and wide ranging, from social media to philosophical debate to art historical references.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.
Diana Copperwhite’s work stems from an idiosyncratic practice that embraces the temporal nature of painting practice. This encompasses working with large-scale wall installations, large canvases and an ongoing interest in the human portrait. Born 1969 in Limerick, she studied at the Limerick School of Art and Design from 1987-92, received a BA in painting at the National college of Art and Design, Dublin and went on to do an MFA at the Winchester School of Art and Design, Barcelona. Copperwhite is engaged with a sustained conceptual exploration of memory and abstraction. Using identifiable subjects, and sometimes drawing on media images, she plays with light and color to create slightly unreal dreamlike and transitory compositions. The mood of her work is generally lyrical, creating an air of ambiguity of memories transformed in the unceasing passage of time. In a most unique capacity, she works over recognizable images, working and reworking their surface and adding rich layers, so that objects are transported in an entirely new direction into a fluid visual quality of being remembered or reimagined in singular vibrant ways.
Her work is in public collections, including Irish Museum of Modern Art; Arts Council of Ireland; Limerick City Gallery of Art; Office of Public Works; Contemporary Irish Art Society; Mariehamn Stadbiblioteque, Aland, Finland; International Red Cross Netherlands — and private collections in the US, Australia and Europe. She has exhibited widely, including in London, Dublin, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York. France and Amsterdam. Copperwhite was awarded the AIB Art Prize in 2007, which resulted in a major monograph and touring exhibition of her work. Her recent publication Fake New World was published to coincide with a wall drawing and recent exhibition at the RHA Gallery Dublin, it features a recent biography written by Gail Levin. Her work is held in many important public collections including the Office of Public Works, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, as well as private collections in Ireland, across Europe and in the United States. She was a resident artist at the Josef Albers Foundation Connecticut (2012). She was a finalist in the Guasch Coranty Fundacio Painting Prize, Centre Cultural Metropolita Tecia Sala, Barcelona (2008) and was winner of the AIB Art Prize (2007). Diana Copperwhite, born 1969, lives and works in Dublin.
1999-2000 Winchester School of Art and Design, Barcelona, MA European Fine Art
1992-94 National College of Art & Design, BA Hons painting
1987-92 Limerick School of Art & Design, NCEA Diploma Painting
SELECT SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2017 Crooked Orbit, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
2016 Depend on the Morning Sun 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York
2014 Shadowland 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York
2013 Loose Ends, 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York
2013 Solo Booth at VOLTA New York, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
2011 An Island from the day before, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin 2009 perfect near miss, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
2011 Eclipse of a title, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Drogheda
2008 Eclipse of a title, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, eclipse of a title, West Cork Arts Centre
2007 BLIND SPOT, Limerick City Art Gallery * 2006 In a certain light, Kevin Kavanagh , Dublin * 2005 Midnight, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
2001 Galleri Kakelhallen, Aland, Finland *
2000 Panorama Gallery, Winchester School of Art, Barcelona
1998 Rubicon Gallery, Dublin
1996 Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 Two Person show with Danny Rolph, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
2012 Into the Light, The Arts Council-60 Years of Supporting the Arts
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork*
Anna Bjerger, Diana Copperwhite and Oliver Comerford, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
Painting Now, Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
Making Familiar; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, curated by James Merrigan and
Group show and Symposium: Temple Bar Gallery
Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Temporary public Art Commission*
The Mind was Dreaming, the world was its Dream, Diana Copperwhite, Michael Kalmbach & Hiraki Sawa, Curated by Jacqui McIntosh, Solstice Art Centre, Navan, Ireland *
2011 The Fold, Visual Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow*
New Works Visiting Artists, Graphic Studio Gallery, Dublin
Graphic Studio: 50 Years in Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin *
2010 Collecting the New: Recent Acquisitions to the IMMA Collection, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Regarding Painting, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
The Marianbad Palace, Haroon Mirza, Diana Copperwhite, Laura Buckley, Jorge de la Garza, Alicja Kwade and Ian Monroe, Highlanes Gallery and Driochead Arts Centre, Drogheda Arts Festival,
curated by Jacqui McIntosh
Abundance, Limerick City Gallery of Art
2009 Above the Fold, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
Alchimie – Multiples – Papiers, Françoise Besson, Lyon, curated by Michael Woolworth, Lyon Biennale * Visiting Artists, Graphic Studio Gallery
To Have & Have Not, curated by Gemma Tipton, Kinsale Arts Week, Cork *
2008 Group Therapy, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin
Winter Salon, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin
International Painting Prize, Guasch Coranty Fundacio, Tecla Sala, Barcelona *
2007 Presence, Limerick City Gallery of Art
The Big Store, curated by Alan Butler & Rayne Booth, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin. Group show, curated by Martin Gale Fenton Gallery, Cork
Invited artist, RHA Annual Exhibition, Gallagher Gallery, Dublin *
2006 Other Visions, curated by Aidan Dunne, Art Critic, The Irish Times, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
2005 A Moment In Time, Temple Bar Gallery
Reality Show, curated by Gemma Tipton, Siamsa Tíre, Tralee
Group Show, From the Liberties to Parramatta, University of Western Sydney, Australia
2000 Aqui/alli, Can Felipe, Poblenou Barcelona
1998 E+va, Exhibition of Visual Art, curated by Jeanne Greenberg, Limerick City Gallery of Art * Fantastic Overload, Rubicon Gallery Dublin
September 10 – October 19, 2013
We are pleased to announce Diana Copperwhite’s first US solo show in collaboration with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. This follows on from her succesful solo presentation at VOLTA NY earlier this year, and her residency at the Josef Albers Foundation in December 2012.
“Whose afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue” asked Barnett Newman in the sixties amid the era’s monikers of post-painterly abstraction and colour field painting. His answer, and indeed the answers of his compatriots at the time, seem to us now as stately as they are staid. They sit comfortably into the art historical narrative -the progressive imperative of Modernism. The paintings of Diana Copperwhite deliver us back into the maelstrom of colour resurrecting the fear that such charged tints and hues can conjure. Copperwhite’s colours misbehave, taunting and mocking our narrow appreciation of their emotional potential”.
-Patrick T. Murphy, Director of Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin.
Former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Diana Copperwhite constantly mentions a musical logic and a sense of musical notation and tonality as she describes the act of painting. But, on the other hand, she insists that she does not pre-structure, that she allows one colour to suggest another, that the element of gesture and chance is essential as is the flash of insight and the swift ability then to structure it, to carry it out.”