The Disguised Edge
MULHERIN is pleased to present The Disguised Edge, an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based artist, Alika Cooper.
"Every quilt is biographical, on the verge of revealing the very nature of its own gathered form. From any view we find, the image is always disintegrating; it has to be pieced back together. But the moment we step back, it flattens, and double crosses back to cover its tracks. Does the real self hide behind or inside of the mask? Stamp on a costume and see if the identity within moves closer to or further from the surface. The tessellated edge where a fiction meets fabric collapses under the weight of the ritual. We enter anyway, undergo this transmutation, hoping to find a point along the gradient to serve as our foundation. But even the most carefully applied layer may shift; features will become indistinct, and figures abut the ground. And yet even across the sharpest of edges, two shapes are still reaching out to cross the common line they share as they try forming a union anew."
Combining elements of both collage and quilting, Alika Cooper's fabric and adhesive constructions redefine the formal qualities of avant-garde photography, referencing the imagery of Erwin Blumenfeld, Germaine Krull, Horst P Horst and Helmut Newton.
Much like painting, the variety of patterning and textures play both with and against the imagery, often depicting a fluid female form that becomes empowered by it's connection to a non-sexualized culture of traditional "woman's work".
Alika Cooper (b. Guam 1979) received her MFA and BFA from CCA San Francisco in 2006 and 2002 respectively. Cooper has exhibited in the United States and Europe with solo exhibitions at venues such as Night Gallery (LA, 2012), Eleanor Harwood Gallery (SF, 2011); Tracy Williams Ltd. (NY, 2013); Hamish Morrison Galerie in Berlin (2010); and Galleria Studio Legale in Rome, Italy (2007). Other exhibitions include To Live and Paint in LA at The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2012); Holding Onto Something Slippery, LVL3, Chicago, IL (2012); On Forgry at LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Gray Day at the Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, CA (2011). Cooper has been written about in Artforum, LA Weekly, Flash Art, Notes on Looking, Huffington Post, The Flog, Art Slant, Daily Candy, SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Daily Serving, Chicago Now, In the Make, Argot and Ochre, and Frieze. Alika lives and works in Los Angeles.