AboutDan Coopey's first solo exhibition at The Agency gallery, incorporating wall works, video and large-scale sculpture, continues the
British artist's ongoing investigations into the restrictions placed upon visual language by it's incumbent means of
A series of monitors relay demonstrations by a string figure expert as he goes through various modes of representing narratives
through this ancient transcultural means. The expert remains anonymous however his face digitally obscured concentrating
the viewer's attention on the ability of depiction using the limiting constraints of string and the human body. The work
continues themes raised in a previous extensive body of work Print Errors (2008 ) in which images were abstracted and
ultimately destroyed by the failures of a home printer in the dying stages of its ink cartridge. Like the failure inherent in that
body of work, here the instructor is always faced with the likelihood that his art will fail in its representative aims. With no sound,
and the storyteller's facial expressions obliterated, the actions' narrative is lost, leaving only changing abstracted, architectural
models of string. The ongoing human desire to communicate primary imagery through secondary means is documented as
being not merely a modern, technologically minded, preoccupation but something far more historic and perhaps even intrinsic.
Dominating the gallery's two floors are a series of architectural-scale sculptures in which different coloured densely woven wool
sheets are stretched between two ceiling and floor mounted steel poles, their natural fall broken by the angled leaning of a glass
sheet. In differing the angle relationship of glass to material in each sculpture Coopey highlights the issue of constraint and
limitation against variation again, this time in an architectural context. In repeating the work Coopey is asking the viewer to
consider the gallery space and the sculpture's formal makeup in the same context as the string figures: a situation of constant
variability within unchanging formal parameters. A duo of wall-mounted, A4-printed, Adobe-standard colour spectrum,
collated at a spiral, act as formal pivot to the exhibition: within their arrangement they mask off significant blocks of colour
leaving a dominating pigment, which in turn, relate formally to both the sculptural and video-based work. The spectrum, as
generated by computer software, is demonstrative of the wide colour range available to the software user; yet ultimately it
remains a limited construct.
Dan Coopey's solo exhibitions have included Doodad at the Hayward Gallery Concrete space curated by Tom Morton in 2009.
Group shows include SYC New Contemporaries; Wysing Arts Centre Presents at the Wysing Arts Centre as part of Field
Broadcast; Riff Raff at A Palazzo Gallery curated by David Southard; Meteor at New Court Gallery curated by Oliver Basciano (all
2010); and Urchin Eater at Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects in 2008. He was recently proclaimed one of ten sculptors to look out for
by Ten magazine.