Subtext is a new body of work from artist Judy Cooke that arose from her interest in the idea of “provisional painting.” This approach eschews the weightiness and calculation of creating the mythical perfect painting. What this does for the artist is open up a world of possibility for exploration. In Subtext each piece is different from another, and yet each is very clearly from Cooke’s hand. She began the series painting grids and lines, and then broke out of that to explore other elements. In some works the paintings are pared back to their essential components: line and ground. Some are stripped even further to expose the wood grain of the panel. In others, creamy layers are built up on the surface and elements of color punctuate her custom shaped angular panels. The thread that ties this work together is her unending love of line, a commitment to abstraction, and a inquisitiveness toward the very nature of painting.
Judy Cooke majored in printmaking at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received her BFA at Tufts University (Medford, MA) and a MAT at Reed College (Portland, OR). She has exhibited extensively, including a retrospective at the Art Gym, Marylhurst University (Lake Oswego, OR), and exhibitions at Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), and Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA). She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious grants, including the Flintridge Foundation Award for Visual Art (Pasadena, CA), Regional Arts & Culture Council Visual Artist Fellowship Grant (Portland, OR), Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Painting (Salem, OR) and the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship. Her work is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), and Boise Art Museum (Boise, ID), among many others.