January 18 - February 29, 2020

Opening reception: Saturday January 18, 5-7pm.

Exhibition Text

COOPER COLE is pleased to present EMANATA, a solo exhibition by Shawn Kuruneru. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

Drawing is at the centre of Kuruneru‘s art practice. Exploring both the graphic and conceptual potentials of the medium, the works in this exhibition engage with Western geometric abstraction, Eastern landscape painting, and the artist’s own interest in comic books. Emanata is a cartooning term that describes the use of lines, squiggles, or symbols around a character to indicate emotional states. This visual practice also dates back to the 11th century when Chinese landscape painters rendered organic shapes in ink to express philosophical ideas and emotive stories.

Drawing on these practices, Kuruneru is interested in the narrative potentials of the mark based on context. This exhibition presents his abstract paintings alongside comic pages from his graphic novel Fool’s Wish. Kuruneru’s surreal landscape drawings next to his large, bold paintings emphasizes shared mark-making techniques and gestures. For the artist, the lines and dots in a comic drawing can achieve the demands of narrative, while lines and dots in a painting provide a sense of release and freedom. In his work the autonomous mark, similar to one’s identity, fluctuates over time within different contexts, cultures and histories.

Shawn Kuruneru (Canadian, b.1984) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec.  Recent solo exhibitions include Shawn Kuruneru, KOKI ARTS, Tokyo, Japan (2019); Compact Chaos, Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland (2017); Pablo’s Birthday Gallery, New York, NY (2017); Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy (2015); Rotator, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (2015); Landscapes, David Petersen Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2014). Select group exhibitions include Condo NY, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY (2018); Nice Weather, curated by David Salle, Skarstedt Gallery, New York, NY (2016); Face To Face, curated by Eugenio Viola, Palazzo Fruscione, Salerno, Italy (2016); 2159 Miles, curated by Brand New Gallery, Milan, Museo Britanico Americano, Mexico City, Mexico (2015) CK One Daily, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, California (2014); Day job, curated by Nina Katchadourian, The Drawing Center, New York, NY (2010).

His self published graphic novels are BURN MAN and Fool’s Wish. His work is in the permanent collection at The Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, Special Collections of the Frances, Mulhall Achilles Library in New York, NY; The National Gallery of Canada Library Collection, Ottawa, Canada; and CELINE, Paris, France.


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