Monica Cook

'Liquid Vessels'

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "Liquid Vessels," an exhibition by SCAD alumna Monica Cook (B.F.A., painting, 1996). The exhibition includes recent sculptures and paintings, which further the artist’s investigations into material assemblage, found objects and adornment. Central to the exhibition are Cook’s complex sculptures. These intricate objects appear simultaneously native and alien, as the artist references the natural world through components that appear biological, while transforming recognizable elements into unfamiliar forms through a conglomeration of material. These striking forms, in pale earth tones and pastels, contain an intrinsic fragility, as if decaying.

Seven of Fronds sculpture made of glass and found objects
Monica Cook, B.F.A., painting, 1996, "Seven of Fronds," blown glass, silvering, concrete, sea urchin spines, silver chain, 13" x 13" x 31", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition takes its name from Cook’s conceptual underpinning for the works. Her recent artwork makes reference to the vessel in many ways. As a functional object, the vessel holds and protects, much like Cook’s sculptures of bodies and carriers, which reveal their innards through translucent material, especially in her recent explorations in glass. Like objects of unknown use, the sculptures appear to have been plucked from a past alien civilization. Viewers are presented with a strange landscape, challenging expectations of the familiar.

A voracious appetite for collecting material formed the foundation of Cook’s handmade works. The artist employs mass-produced and biological objects as her medium. Materials as disparate as corncobs, sea urchin spines, traffic cones and artificial plants are fodder for her manipulation of form. Though the artist employs an abundance of media, the most recent works incorporate glass. Cook’s explorations with the manipulation of glass have opened her practice to celebrate and elevate the function of the medium as a transparent material that concurrently holds and reveals. As seen in "Seven of Fronds," an opulent, intricate form of many components, her work with glass is a celebration of the malleability, delicacy and strength of this material.

About the artist

Monica Cook’s work has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the YouTube Play Biennial at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City, Bilbao, Venice and Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions at Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia; the ACP Annual Public Art Commission, Atlanta; and Postmasters Gallery, New York. It is also included in numerous private and public collections and was recently acquired by the 21 C Museum Hotel Collection, Louisville, Kentucky, and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently a 2018 fellow at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn.

Credits

"Liquid Vessels” is curated by Ben Tollefson, assistant curator of SCAD exhibitions.

 

Museum Admission

This exhibition is free, open to the public and part of SCAD deFINE ART 2019, held Feb. 26–28 at university locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia.

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