Jun 30, 2009
Kass Copeland's work at first blush may remind one of the seminal artworks of Joseph Cornell; assemblages in a box format with a keen sense of intimacy and nostalgia built into their varied old-time photographs and engravings, subtly moving parts, and motifs of birds and night skies. But Kass Copeland's works are not mere imitations, but are aspects of a richly created world-view that in some ways is more accessible and more nuanced than Joseph Cornell's.
Many motifs run through her work, mournful black and white or subtly tinted daguerreotypes, antique parts from an earlier industrial age, finely crafted wooden boxes and chests with doors that open and hinges that swing, birds and feathers and insects, hands and rings, tattered text and exposed watch parts, and eyes - eyes that look back at the viewer with a vulnerable expressiveness that lies at the core of Copeland's work.
While Cornell's assemblages were often so specific to be coolly abstract in their meanings, Copeland never fails to create an emotional resonance with her viewer. Longing, loneliness, joy, sorrow, nostalgia, melancholy, wistfulness, hopefulness all find their voice in her astounding body of work. Kass Copeland's color palette tends toward a restrained range of earth tones, subtle tints, gold and silver, dark rich reds and ambers, and beautiful woods. But her emotional palette is complex and complete, drawing the viewer immediately into her cleverly devised constructions, then lingering far more in one's memory, like a wistful old song that keeps playing in your head, long after one has heard it.
Image titles, from top, all works by Kass Copeland;
The Bird Watcher, 2008,
The Peace Machine, 2008,
Leon's Gold, 2008,
Inter-Dimensional Peepholes, 2009
Find Kass Copeland's gallery on line at: