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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ashley Cooper, "Homebodies," April 9 - May 14

"The Madonna of the Laptop" (casein, 2010)
Yesterday I spent the afternoon driving over to Earlville (five miles from Colgate University in Hamilton) to attend the opening of Ashley Cooper's show, "Homebodies." If you're in the region, I highly recommend a visit. The show will be up from April 9-May 14 in the East Gallery of the Earlville Opera House.

It was a sunny day, and I enjoyed the drive and visiting with Ashley to talk about the paintings and what she might do next, meeting a few people, and mulling over her wonderful work, narrative paintings in which dollhouse-style-cut-open houses and their nearby yards and street reveal unexpected threats. The fragility of domestic life is undermined by accident, death and time (cut-away earth reveals bones that sometimes wish to devour what is living), wildness, strangers, or occult threats.

Ashley is a fellow Southerner who lives around the block from me, and so--thinking of her images--you may imagine us each working away in the daytime in our cut-open houses, children at school or away, cocooned in a fragile nest. I picked "The Madonna of the Laptop" to illustrate because it reminds me of how I wrote my first book.


  1. Ashley, I could not be there to see your show, and Marley's blog is the next best thing. It keeps me from missing your newest work entirely. Ah, but, there's always the inevitable studio visit when I return to the States. Here's to wishing you well, and much super success with your new show, and beautifully strong paintings!

  2. Yolanda,

    I shall have to tell her to pop by...


    My college friend who is a painter and former medievalist and lives in Roanoke, Mary Bullington, came by and tried to leave a comment but didn't because she is a techno-dweeb, I guess... (Hi, Mary!) Anyway, she left me a note elsewhere that she thought it "beautiful work."

  3. I was afraid Ashley would never see this, as it is buried on Mary Bullington's fb page. From artist Dreama Johnson Kattenbraker:

    Marly & Mary my mercy, that Ashley Cooper is a stand-out! Amazing, honest, juicy and have a Mary Bullington Vibe for sure! Would love to see "in the flesh" paintings.

  4. Thanks for popping by, Susanna--glad you liked!

  5. Marly, my dad lives in Earlville, just a mile north of the stop light on a small lake, and that's where I spent all my summers. The little grocery store next to the opera house is where we go for milk or other staples when we've run out...Nice to know your friend is showing at the gallery there - I like her painting shown here!

  6. I am really taken with the Opera House. Lots of bustle and shows!

    So we are closer when you are visiting than I realized... That's good! We could meet in New Berlin or somewhere like that.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.