Transitory Nature, Jeri Coppola and Shirley Irons
May 18 - June 29, 2019
CAS Arts Center
48 Main Street, Livingston Manor, New York
Landscape is such a familiar trope that it can get worn out pretty quickly and cause yawns when the word is mentioned. Even so, against all we know about the artificiality of landscape, the man-madeness of it, there is a desire to escape back to that imaginary Eden, when nature was all and perfect. Both Jeri Coppola and Shirley Irons use photography, painting, books and sculpture to simultaneously include and exclude that desire. They both use light, actual or represented, to create a sense of spirit, a sense of hope, and they both use repetition to keep that sense of spirit away from reference to the sublime or grandiose that images from nature can evoke. Distance, literal and figurative, is important to both. Jeri Coppola's subjects are infinite things: water, wind, industrial landscape, which she erases, white washes, distresses and presents in unfamiliar structures – light boxes on shipping palettes, hugely oversized books, and occasionally incorporating glassine casts of her body. Shirley Irons looks at landscape as a cultural invention that can include highways, airports, gas stations, architecture and everyday objects. They become portraits of how we live. Both artists rely on photography for its suggestion of the real, both acknowledge the transitory nature of our world, and both look to slow down and escape from the noise of the overload of images that is our reality.
Shirley Irons has exhibited in group shows nationally and internationally, including the 2014 Whitney Biennial as part of Critical Practices, Inc. She has had solo exhibitions at White Columns, Queens Museum, Tyler Gallery at Temple University, Staniar Gallery at W&L University, and Luisotti Gallery, Santa Monica, and at the Werkstadt Graz, Austria. She will have a solo exhibition at the Catskill Art Society in the spring of 2019. Her work has been written about in the LA Times, New York Times, Art Papers, Art Monthly, Time Out, Flash Art, Bomb, Acme, among others, and she was profiled in The New Yorker Talk of the Town. She lives and works in Manhattan.
Jeri Coppola is an artist living and working in New York City. She uses the interplay of different media including photography, sculpture, and some video to explore memory, absence of memory and time. Her work has been in numerous exhibitions including The Buggy Factory, bxbx, Gridspace, ICP, Avenue of the Americas Gallery, NY and Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts in Snug Harbor. She has attended residencies at NES Residency, Skagastrond, Iceland and Virginia Center for Creative Arts She attended Mason Gross School of the Arts in NJ and received an MFA from Bard College.