Los Angeles

Jacqueline Cooper


The buxom women in Jacqueline Cooper’s recent paintings inhabit a world culled from some unknown opera set in a Nordic region that seems both storybook distant and close enough to be just behind the nearest S&M club. The only contrast to the coolness of this subfreezing zone is the warm, pinkish flesh of Cooper’s heroines, of which they show a lot. Heedless of the risk of frostbite, the figures go about unclothed except for bits of lace and rope and leather hoods to keep their ears warm. Oh, but those nose rings must get cold.

Of course, nobody’s really catching a chill, because we know these paintings aren’t about reality—not just because the characters haven’t frozen solid, but because the scenes suggest the conventions of theater (and cinema, for that matter). The figures are choreographed and costumed; the objects look like props (an armchair in the middle of a snowy field?); the

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