The subject matter of Yvette’s Summer House exhibition at Gallery Ecosse [Halcyon Cottage, Exeter NSW] is Le Corbusier’s Le Cabanon. The cabin where he spent summer holidays and the only dwelling he designed for himself. Built in 1952, it is situated in Cap-Martin on the Cote Azure.
The works are very much like psychological spaces. Le Corbusier’s idea of a monastic cell being essential for the artists’ creative incubation of ideas. He did much designing in the cabin and nearby studio, and laboured over the search of the perfect human scale in modular apartment design.
His cabin is all encompassing of art, design and architecture that was the Bauhaus philosophy of Gesamtkunstwerk. These images lend themselves to explore painterly geometric abstraction and a very modernist sensibility while also being interiors and figurate images. In that way they play with depth and flatness.
Some of Yvette’s Life in Art …. so far
Yvette was 22 and virtually unknown when she won the inaugural Metro 5 Art Prize, in Armadale with The Koperszmidt Connection (2002), a series of seven oil portraits of female members of her family, including herself (2nd on the right) and her mother. She beat 531 entries and collected Australia’s biggest prize for young artists, $40,000.
“Her work shows an interest in the psychological depths of personality, but is very human at the same time. This is not just a series of realist portraits – there is a sense of her discovering her family. You look for the relationship between the panels.” [Janine Burke]
In nearly a decade since she has twice been an Archibald Prize finalist (2008, 2009), on three occasions a finalist in both the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the Portia Geach Memorial Award and the Metro 5 Art Award in each of 4 years , 2004-07.
In a 2010 exhibition, Loft Suite, held at the Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney, Coppersmith’s paintings took as their focus, not human subjects, but instead the interior of an artist’s studio. In this instance, space became the subject of inquiry and investigation through which Coppersmith constructed a Baudelairean context around which the lives of individuals and creative events took place.
Forever in Blue Jeans is a stunning 6 panel work featuring her model and muse, Melbourne-based curator Mark Feary. It presents here as a kind of specimen, or even spectacle, in a glass box for the world to inspect and dissect. Coppersmith refers to the work as a kind of homage to the power of desire at work between artist and muse, as an element of sublimation.