Melissa Cooke’s Large-Scale Photorealist Graphite Drawings on View at the Museum of Wisconsin Art  

Melissa Cooke: Egos October 1, 2016 - January 8, 2017 Opening party: Saturday, October 1 | 1:00 - 4:00

September 26, 2016
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(WEST BEND, WI) Melissa Cooke creates massive Photorealist portrait drawings by dusting thin layers of graphite onto paper with a dry brush. This process—which eschews the traditional pencil—results in mesmerizing images that seem to glow without the shine of heavy linear marks. Egos, on view at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) from October 1, 2016 – January 8, 2017, is the latest series from the artist.

“One of the most exciting aspects of an artist’s career is to watch how their work changes over the years,” says Director of Collections and Exhibitions Graeme Reid. “This exhibition represents the culmination of Cooke’s work since she graduated from UW-Madison in 2008. Viewers will be stunned by the large scale of these works as well as their remarkable Photorealist quality, achieved using only powdered graphite and brushes, a technique that is normally reserved for small-scale work.”

Cooke’s work has focused on investigating the relationship between the self, photography, performance, and portrait drawing. Cooke finds drawing to be a cathartic way to explore and understand the various selves—or egos referenced in the title—she has experienced and encountered.

“Melissa Cooke’s works are not only highly charged statements about personal identity, but they also question the very nature of photography and the graphic arts,” says MOWA CEO | Executive Director Laurie Winters.

Egos opens on Saturday, October 1 with an opening party from 1:00 – 4:00. Cooke will lead a tour of her exhibition and offer insights into her creative process.



Melissa Cooke: Egos

October 1, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Opening Party + Meet the Artist

Saturday, October 1 | 1:00 – 4:00

Melissa Cooke: Egos opens concurrently with David Lenz: People on the Periphery. Both Photorealist artists will be in attendance.

Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing, 262.247.2266