Archive for November 18th, 2022

Drea Cofield at Exeter

Drea Cofield, Mantis, oil on canvas, 60 x 50 inches, 2021

Drea Cofield’s more recent work has an idiosyncratic way of engaging visually with the natural world that brings to mind Burchfield and Nick Blosser, though her work seems closer to the spirit of animation. Burchfield is one of the few non-Asian painters who have depicted cicadas, and not just the legs, wings, and thoraxes, but also their rattlesnake, high-frequency whine. Cofield does insects in an equally interesting way. There’s a charmingly Disneyesque but disquieting air to her praying mantises. Some of her natural scenes are simplified but exacting in the way they capture the light on the deformities of old trees in a drab unpicturesque acre of woods most painters wouldn’t give a second look. All of her current work departs dramatically from her earlier Day Glo caricatures of naked figures cavorting in strange ways in erotic fever dreams. In the image above, the vestigial naked figure is submerged, shimmering under sunlight filtered through the water’s rippled surface. You hardly realize you’re being mooned. Mostly, the new work looks outward at nature, from within the house of her style, to produce carefully observed images of what’s there in the world, not just in her mind, though her vision is a strong and simplifying filter. I’m sorry I missed her work in my visit to The Armory Show. Here’s her bio from Exeter Gallery, a Matt Klos joint in Baltimore celebrating its fifth year of operation (congratulations Matt) exhibiting mostly perceptual painters:
Drea Cofield has created a sensuous and saturated world in her new series of paintings for Soft Limbs. The series depicts the cycle of a day: sunrise, sunset, and night illuminated by cool lavender light. The show is on from Nov. 14th-December 31st. Come celebrate with the artist at a reception on Friday, November 18th from 5-7pm.
Drea Cofield is an artist currently working between Indianapolis, IN and Brooklyn, NY. In 2013, she received her M.F.A from Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT), and in 2008, her B.A from DePauw University (Greencastle, IN). She has exhibited in the U.S. and internationally including New York, Los Angeles, and Perugia, Italy. Most recently she exhibited in the Armory Show with 1969 Gallery in New York; solo exhibitions at the Tube Artspace in Indianapolis and DePauw University. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Exeter Gallery in Baltimore, MD. Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Rail, Artnet News, Juxtapoz, Blouin Art Info, and in Suzanne Hudson’s latest issue of Contemporary Painting (World of Art). She is the recipient of an Elizabeth Greenshields Grant and the Yale University Gloucester Painting Prize. Residencies include the Guild of Adventure Painters SWAB Mobile Residency in 2019. She is the Founder and Director of Bomb Pop-Up, a pop-up Art & Music initiative that focuses on providing visibility in exciting contexts to emerging and established artists and musicians, working with over 200 artists from all over the world and collaborating with institutions such as the National Academy of Design. Cofield has been a visiting artist at Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, and a returning critic at the School of Visual Arts. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.