The Quicksilver Mine Co.
© Sonoma's Own
The Return of the Lodi Madman
A third chair, "Ruby," appears almost surreal and creature-like, melding organic form with geometric structure. Cooper's chairs incorporate hardwood, chrome, and powder-coated steel, juxtaposing brilliant color and carefully designed and fabricated metal parts, wood sculpture and functional form.
Also at Quicksilver are several classic vehicles from Cooper's past. One is a finely crafted and fully restored artist soapbox derby car, built for the original Artist’s Soapbox Derby sponsored by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1975. This race featured 75 wildly imaginative artist-designed cars in a freewheeling downhill race in the City's McLaren Park.
Also on exhibit is the Cooper's very first go-cart, built from an old gasoline motor, salvaged metal, pipe and plumbing fittings when the artist was just 13 years old.
Michael Cooper's sculpture will be presented as a traveling solo exhibition sponsored by the Windgate Foundation beginning next year. This show will be presented in 3 US locations: the Bellevue Arts Museum, WA (July—October 2011), the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA (November 2011—May 2012), and the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design (June—September 2012).
After completing his MFA in Sculpture the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, Michael Cooper taught art and design for 34 years at De Anza and Foothill Colleges, and the California College of Art in San Francisco
He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including a Fellowship in Sculpture at the American Academy in Rome; Fellowship at the Crafts Council of Australia/Craftsman in Industry; an NEA Fellowship Grant; a Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SECA) Award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Eisner Prize for Sculpture from the University of California at Berkeley.
Solo exhibitions include the Whitney Biannual; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Hayward Gallery in London, England; San Jose State University; and The Art Gallery of Western Australia. Selected group exhibitions include shows at the California College of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (including Artists' Soapbox Derbies in 1975 and 1978), the William Zimmer Gallery in Mendocino, and the Santa Rosa Junior College Art Gallery.
click on images for larger views
The Return of the Lodi Madman opens with an Artist Reception on Saturday November 20th from 4—6pm. The Show continues through January 2, 2011.