This past Friday I went with my friend, artist Brian Hitselberger, to see a retrospective exhibition of Don Cooper’s artwork at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center in Madison GA.

It was a super inspiring show in a beautiful building. I really have to hand it to the Center for how perfect the galleries are for contemporary artwork, and how sophisticated the hanging was. The Center is housed in a gorgeously restored Victorian school building with incredible historical details. It’s located downtown amidst restored architectural gems spanning back to the pre-Civil War era. It’s well worth the visit to see the town as well, and it’s only half an hour from Athens GA.

ANYWAY, I first met Don at The Hambidge Center in 2000 where we were both doing an artist residency. I saw his work in progress during the Cosmic Egg series (seen in the last image). I later happened on an opening of his in Atlanta where I saw his Bindu series (the rest of the images). This series really blew me away! He paints a bindu (or point/dot) in the center of the canvas or paper, then rings it with concentric circles that expand outward.

My favorites of these were the watercolors on rough Indian handmade paper (seen in the photo with the bench and in the next four details). His color schemes are so surprising and fresh. I like the system he’s set up for this series: the centered concentric rings. It makes the color choices and the differences in spacing between the rings exciting in their variations. The works pull together as one piece with many parts. Given the lighting and the quiet in the gallery, the Bindu paintings created a spiritual, contemplative space.

The exhibition runs through mid-August.