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Cooper In Space

Cooper In Space

Artist: Lamar Dodd (1909 – 1996)

Title: Cooper In Space

Date: 1963

Medium: Gouache on Paper

Size: 19 ½” x 27″

Tradition: Abstract Reasoning

The Artist: Works by acclaimed Georgia artist Lamar Dodd have been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Throughout his career, Dodd depicted a diverse range of themes in his works, from the rural surroundings of his childhood in Georgia, to the coast of Maine, to the urban setting of New York City, to flights in space. Dodd was influenced by his New York contemporaries and the Ashcan School artists in the 1920s and 1930s, which led to his critical acclaim as a leader of a new spirit of art in the South, or what was called “regionalism.”

About the Artwork: Cooper in Space is representative of Dodd’s art works from the1960s when he was invited to participate in the NASA Art Program. Depicting Gordon Cooper’s Mercury 9 ride, which was the last flight in the Mercury program and the first to carry an American into orbit around the Earth, this painting is one of an estimated 200 works that Dodd produced over 25 years for the NASA Art Program. Using his artistic creativity, Dodd fulfilled the aim of the NASA Art Program, which was to expand public understanding of space exploration beyond the scientific and mechanical functions, to the emotive and psychological aspects of space drama. As a result, Dodd painted Cooper in Space as a poetic union of imagery — speed, darkness, and weightlessness.

Last updated: 2/12/2020