Head Space: New Works by Tanya Batura and Brian Cooper

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Untitled, 2015 Clay, Acrylic © Courtesy of artist
Head Space: New Works by Tanya Batura and Brian Cooper
Curated by: Ichiro Irie

11851 La Grange Ave.
90025 Los Angeles

March 6th, 2015 - March 22nd, 2015
Opening: March 6th, 2015 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Other (outside areas listed)
Saturdays noon to 4pm during exhibitions
painting, figurative, surrealism, drawing, sculpture, conceptual


JAUS is very pleased to present "Head Space" a two person exhibition featuring new sculptures by Tanya Batura, and new paintings and drawings by Brian Cooper. 5 years since JAUS’ inaugural exhibition, Head Space represents a significant shift in our programming; instead of the group exhibitions we have showcased thus far, we will now focus on one and two person exhibitions while continuing to emphasize and advocate the relationship and dialogue that happens between curator and artist in developing a show. We are thrilled to have Batura and Cooper launch this new facet of our evolution.

Batura and Cooper were paired to exhibit together for multiple reasons. Upon first observation, one immediately notices that both demonstrate a high degree of craft, with a majority of their recent works adhering to a restrained, relatively monochromatic palette. In contrast to the somberness of their color schemes, the works present a subtle and wry humor of sensual forms that playfully allude to their inner thoughts and ruminations.

On a more conceptual level, the two artists diverge in that Cooper, with his most recent series “Empty Space Is Not Nothing”, draws inspiration from nature and science documentaries that describe space as a physical and malleable substance. Reminiscent of his earlier sculptures, he connects to more familiar objects like fleshy bodies, lumps of clay or upholstered cushions. Batura, on the other hand, views her giant ceramic heads as incorporeal objects that explore themes of death and the physicality of the human body. With her more recent sculptures, she finds inspiration from her childhood fascination with books and images relating to séances and the occult. She is focused on giving substance to the ectoplasmic manifestations that frightened her as a child.

In spite of these differences, what unites the recent work of Batura and Cooper most compellingly, is the fact that they strive to reach for and make sense of what most people would consider the “unknown”. They long to give thoroughly detailed form to imagined realms that lie beneath, behind or beyond our immediate surroundings. In this sense, there is perhaps a nod to Surrealism. Yet unlike their manifesto waving predecessors, the quirky, almost self-deprecating tone gives both of their work a fresh, sympathetic quality allowing for multiple readings that lie somewhere in the nether regions of childlike awe and self-conscious wit.

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