Casey Cook: Punch List

I-20 is pleased to announce Casey Cook’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and her first since 1997, Entitled “Punch List.”

The exhibition will comprise acrylic paintings and works on paper, which further the trends within the artist’s work – compositions of geometric shapes and delineated figures that build toward enigmatic and balanced abstract constructions. In her new works, Cook amps up the synergy and takes more pleasure in her palette.

The title of the exhibition is important in regards to the artist’s practice, a “Punch List” begins as a single note written on a scrap of paper. The phrase takes its name from the process of punching a hole in the margin next to an item on a list of construction tasks that need to be completed for a structure to be sound. It is a listing of items that require immediate attention, lest their oversight cause you future problems.

Cook’s paintings draw upon the Punch List ritual in her work. The imaginary finished product is built upon thrift store and flea market finds (e.g. fabric from a sofa cushion, the curve of a high-heeled shoe, advertisements from an erotic magazine) collected while touring with her band, Americans in France. Cook employs the idea of transformation from the Dadaists and Surrealists by assigning new meaning to the disparate collection. She transforms them into a stirring revelation realized through a new significance, as the collages become drawings and finally paintings.

The paintings are a complex juxtaposition of forms that fill the canvas with multi-faceted metamorphoses, an enduring theme in Cook’s visual lexicon. At times carnivalesque and at other times sedately formal, the surfaces of these works intimate the often indecipherable nature of desire. The paintings alight on this soft threshold. Impossible objects meet familiar ones, and perspective is dismissed, leaving the viewer at the mercy of the artist’s enchanting imagination.

Casey Cook received her BFA from the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and earned her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997. Cook had a residency at Internationale Cite des Artes in Paris in 1998. She has had solo exhibitions at Lehman Maupin Gallery and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Cook lives and work in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is the co-founder of the band “Americans in France”.