Visual Art Currently Hanging
posted by October 22 at 9:00 AMon
Claire Cowie’s The Peacock (2008), watercolor, sumi color, ink, and pencil on paper, 48 by 68 inches
Back in 2003, Cowie was a bright-eyed young artist heading off to her first show in Los Angeles, of slightly disfigured but very lovable figurines placed in careful relationships on a tabletop. In the five years since, Cowie has sized up her figurines, making them larger-than-life sculptures that themselves contain paintings. Now she has transferred the careful relationships from the tabletop into an unusually large painting called The Peacock at the Wright Space, and simultaneously she has a nearly silent installation of tiny painted moths on pushpins gathered around the light above the stairwell at Western Bridge.
I’m considering asking Cowie to tell me what has happened for her in the last five years, how she has made the subtle transition from hot young artist to scene-staple. The Peacock got me thinking; it is a seriously good painting that moves Cowie forward in small but noticeable ways. (I wish I could offer you a zoom feature here.) I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Fellow artist Joey Veltkamp asked her some questions about it himself.