The recurring themes in my work are fragility, transparency, balance, weightlessness, and gravity. Each work yields its meaning through the handling of the material; fragile materials used in unconventional ways. This work with glass focuses on the inherent tension between its transparency as a light medium and its aggressiveness as a projecting grid.
Michelle Cooke’s work imbues a keen sensibility for the physical integrity of her materials with rigorous attention to formal structure. The effect is a literal and powerful presence. Cooke lets the inherent properties of her materials— egg shells, parchment, steel wool, glass squares—create their own narrative within a framework of sensuous abstraction used to communicate deeply personal and poetic messages.
Cooke’s work with glass slides, perhaps the signature statement of her style, offers insight into this approach. The glass installations convey a disarming directness and an immediate visual reference to the structural properties of light. At first transparent and virtually self-effacing, the wall-mounted glass squares create lyrical and tactile light effects of enormous evocative power, while at the same time the grid’s enigmatic formal structure subdues the aggressive echelons of projecting glass.
Michelle Cooke holds an M.F.A. from Claremont Graduate University. Her current work involves drawing, installation, and steel-mixed media sculpture. She lives and works in New York and Taos, NM.
Master of Fine Arts, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna, California
University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles
Bareiss Gallery | 15 State Rd 150 | PO Box 3366 Taos NM 87571 | 575-776-2284