See View presents new works in the Paintscape series by Rick Copsey.
The evolution of Copsey's practice since the Seascape series (2010 – 2011) unites his initial practice as a painter with his current practice as a photographer, a hybrid practice in which the Paintscapes allude to Romanticist seascapes as well as to Macro Photography.
In See View Copsey works with the substance of paint as his source material. He photographs the microscopic minutiae within droplets of wet oil paint around 3 millimetres in diameter which results in trompe-l'oeil scenes akin to the appearance of seascapes.
The Romanticist's idea of nature as violent and dynamic, such as in the works of JMW Turner, recall the 18th Century aesthetic of the "Sublime". As a precursor to Romanticism, Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgement (1790) posits the "Sublime" as a representation of limitlessness such as "the boundless ocean in a state of tumult". Turner's work embodies the "Sublime" in his intense use of chiaroscuro which captures the atmospheric movements in a nascent storm. Paintscape 22 (2015) is the Paintscape series' most prominent instance of chiaroscuro, with extreme contrast in its expanse of illumination and shade.
Copsey's Paintscapes are illusive. They do not depict a reality that exists. As illusions, the Paintscapes evoke the Kantian "Sublime" in nature as "formless and shapeless"; as such, they equate the viscous curls of paint on canvas with the amorphousness of the sea or sky. The illusion of a "real" scene serves to problematize what comprises aesthetic surface as the apparent verisimilitude of each photograph questions what constitutes reality as each exists without an external referent.
In See View each work circumvents the inherent "truth" of the camera as an apparatus that mirrors reality. Instead, Copsey creates a conceit about the myth of "Artist as Genius" whose work embodies the artist's subjectivity as each Paintscape exists as a work independent of artistic intentionality.
Rick Copsey (MA Fine Art, Manchester School of Art, 1994) is represented by OBJECT / A. Recent exhibitions include A Sublime Confluence (2014), Platform A, Middlesbrough; Paintscapes (2013), National Art Museum of Moldova, Chişinău (Moldova); and International Painting Biennial (2013), Exhibition Hall of Union of Artists of Moldova, Chişinău (Moldova), Constantin Brancusi Art Centre, Chişinău (Moldova), Cotroceni National Museum, Bucharest (Romania). His works are in numerous collections such as National Art Museum of Moldova, Chişinău (Moldova) and Sekler National Museum, Covasna (Romania) as well as private collections in the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and USA.