September 28 - December 30, 2007, 2007

Beyond the Line: The Art of Diana Cooper
MOCA Cleveland

This fall, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) presents the first solo museum exhibition of the work of New York based artist Diana Cooper, whose complex drawings, wall reliefs or "hybrid constructions," and installations have established her as one of the most exciting and interesting artists on the rise in the contemporary art world. The exhibition is curated by Margo Crutchfiled the senior curator at MOCA Cleveland. This is Diana Cooper's first one-person museum exhibition.

Beyond the Line: The Art of Diana Cooper, features an unprecedented gathering of the artist's work, from the mid 1990s to the present, as well as a major new site specific sculpture commissioned by MOCA specifically for the exhibition. Encompassing over 7,500 square feet of gallery space, the exhibition includes six of Cooper's "hybrid constructions", a selection of monumental and small-scale drawings, two sculptural works, and a prime example of the artist's Instruction Manuals. Among the large-scale constructions featured will be The Dispenser (1999), Hidden Tracks Sabotage the Random (2001-2002), Swarm (2003-2007),and the U.S. premier of the room installation Orange Alert UK (2004-2007) The work commissioned by MOCA Cleveland, All Our Wandering (2007), a free-standing sculpture, represents a new direction in the ongoing development of the artist's work.

Since the mid 1990s, Diana Cooper has consistently experimented with the practice of drawing, venturing beyond its boundaries to create wildly inventive works on paper, on canvas, on the wall, off the wall and in three-dimensional space. Since embracing felt-tipped markers as a primary medium early on in her career, Cooper has developed a unique, labor intensive and time consuming process using an eclectic array of materials including pen, pencil, paper, canvas, felt, plastics, foam core, push pins, Velcro, pipe cleaners, and even pom-pons.

With an intensity of repetition and multiplication, Cooper takes doodling and geometric abstraction to the extreme, unabashedly transforming line and form into exuberant, semi-abstract works. In her art, mark making is intensive, and thousands of elements are drawn, cut, assembled and attached to paper, canvas, the wall, spiraling up to the ceiling or out onto the gallery floor. The results are visually rich and densely layered works of art that represent imaginary systems and complex networks. Alluding to the underlying infrastructures and interconnecting channels of contemporary life, Cooper's creations reference electrical or digital conduits, communication and transportation systems, and computer circuit boards among other possibilities. These mesmerizing works of art speak to our technology driven ecosystem, to our culture of excess and information overload. They also call attention to the tenuous edge between order, disorder and chaos in our inextricably networked world.

Of her work, Cooper muses, "I am interested in how you can start with a logical system and through sheer repetition and excess create something that unravels and stops making sense. In my work, systems overlap, compete and contradict one another. I want to expose the proximity of order to chaos and show how these two realms bump up against one another. Digital, biological and medical systems are our life support systems but they can fail us too. In their complexity they become unstable and sometimes quite fragile..." The installation of Cooper's work will take place over the course of thirty-three days-a record period of time for MOCA Cleveland. Cooper will work with MOCA staff and teams of art students from Kent State University, Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at The University of Akron, Oberlin College, and the Cleveland Institute of Art to mount the exhibition.


The exhibition is accompanied by a 122 page color catalogue published by MOCA Cleveland with an essay and entries on key works by Margo A. Crutchfield and an interview with the artist by author and art critic, Barbara Pollack. The catalogue will be available for purchase at MOCA's ARTspace Museum Store and online at for $29.99 in mid-October. Also available is a very special edition of the catalogue, signed by the artist, which includes a 7 x 5 inch print created in conjunction with Cooper's newly commissioned work for $250.00.


Diana Cooper has exhibited her work since 1995 in one-person exhibitions at galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Zurich, Switzerland, and at the Center for Drawing in London. She has participated in many group exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including most recently, a group exhibition in 2006 titled Burgeoning Geometries at the Whitney Museum of Art at Altria, in New York City. In 2003-04, Cooper was a recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize, and an artist-in-residence at the Center for Drawing at the Wimbledon School of Art outside of London. She lives and works in New York City. For more information see


This exhibition and its catalogue are made possible by the outstanding generosity of An Anonymous Donor. Significant support provided by: Toby Devan Lewis; John Sutter; The Fifth Floor Foundation; Robert, Jereann and Holland Chaney; with additional funds from Carol and Arthur Goldberg.


Since its inception in 1968 as The New Gallery, later known as the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, and now the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, MOCA has been reinventing the art experience. As Cleveland's forum for interpreting culture through contemporary visual art, the museum connects visitors to the dynamic art and ideas of our time. All MOCA Cleveland exhibitions and programs are presented with major support from The Cleveland Foundation; The George Gund Foundation; The Form Group; Ideastream; Nesnadny + Schwartz; The Ohio Arts Council; and the continuing support of our Board of Directors, Patrons, and Members.