The unpredictability of paper collage engages a level of improvisational thinking more difficult to achieve in my paintings. I enjoy working in layers, sequences, and systems, strategies that visually embody how my mind works. My art reflects on the complex relations among language, image and the world of our experience. The respect I have for language is offset by recognition of the distortions that it imposes on our perceptions of the world around us. I often use sets of compositions based on an anthropomorphic alphabet to visualize quotations from written texts that address this chasm between the experiential, embodied world and the language we use to describe it. And, although my own experience is more perceptual and philosophical than scientific, I have been prompted by the 2009 International Year of Astronomy to develop a body of work in visual response to this ancient science.
The folk art of cut paper images was ubiquitous in my Japanese childhood and it was my study of Chinese calligraphy that sparked my first attempts at painting and drawing, inspired by a culture that makes no distinction between drawing and calligraphy.
My window drawings, derived from vector lines developed in Illustrator, create images in space that respond to changing ambient light, the movement of viewers past the reflective windows, and the chance juxtapositions of overlapping planes of vision that seeing them demands.
Artist Bio / CV
JIM COGSWELL Professor of Art, University of Michigan, School of Art & Design M.F.A. (Painting and Drawing), University of New Mexico, 1982 B.A. (English Literature), Rhodes College, 1971 Raised in Japan as the child of missionary parents, Jim Cogswell returned to that country after receiving his undergraduate degree to begin the study and practice of painting. In 1990, Cogswell joined the School of Art & Design faculty, where his teaching has focused on painting and drawing. Cogswell has collaborated in performance works with dancers, composers, scientists, and poets as well as other visual artists. In 1997, he worked with dancer Peter Sparling, biostatistician Fred Bookstein, and space physics scientist John Clarke to create Seven Enigmas, staged at the Power Center for the Performing Arts. In 2000 he again collaborated with Sparling on a multimedia work The Ariel Web. SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS New Harmony Gallery for Contemporary Art, Indiana Transylvania University, Kentucky Hope College, Michigan University of Indiana-Kokomo Paint Creek Center for the Arts, Michigan University of Illinois-Springfield Florida State University, Tallahassee Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, Michigan The Nashville Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana Amarillo Art Center, Texas Francis Wolfson Art Gallery, Miami, Florida Edith Baker Gallery, Dallas, Texas James Gallery, Houston, Texas Harris Gallery, Houston, Texas Jacksonville Art Museum, Florida SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, New Jersey Rockefeller Arts Center, Fredonia, New York South Bend Regional Museum of Art, Indiana Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennessee Robischon Gallery, Denver, Colorado University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska Keio University, Tokyo, Japan Lizardi-Harp Gallery, Pasadena, California