David Richard Gallery will present “Camino Real,” a selection of gouache and charcoal works on paper by Michael Cook that were inspired by pavement surfaces while traveling the roads of New Mexico. The exhibition will be presented July 2 - July 27, 2013 with an artist reception on Friday, July 5 from 5:00-7:00 PM at the gallery located on 544 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, phone 505-983-9555 in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District.
Michael Cook’s art making practice broadly explores abstraction and visual perception in a variety of media and from diverse perspectives. More specifically, the “Camino Real” series mirrors road surfaces with pebbled textures, swirling and random patterns of tar repair, cracks and random marks. Cook then overlays these literal representations with abstractions consisting of line drawings evocative of a map or path, as well as doodles and text as though it were part of a journal. Individual works seem to locate a specific place, but collectively they actually represent a long journey by the artist consisting of many long bike rides on the roads of New Mexico. These journeys provide Cook with the opportunity to contemplate the complexities of various landscapes, not of literal geographical representations, but of the more abstract social, political and cultural landscapes and how the literal can be a metaphor for the abstract.
Michael Cook has had more than 20 individual exhibitions and his work has been included in numerous group shows in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cambridge and New York. His artwork has been extensively reviewed and included in many publications, private collections and the permanent collections of The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), Museum of Modern Art (New York), San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art and The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, among others. Cook is a respected educator and lecturer and has held faculty positions at University of Illinois, University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco Art institute. Currently, Cook is a Professor of Art at the University of New Mexico. He lives and works in the East Mountains outside Albuquerque.