Double Take: Diana Cooper Artist’s Talk at Roosevelt Island Library

Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Roosevelt Island Library
504 Main Street, New York, NY 10044

Diana Cooper is a mixed-media artist. Cooper’s most recent artwork Double Take, a permanent installation commissioned by the MTA, is on Roosevelt Island. It is featured in the recently published book “Contemporary Art Underground” which documents the MTA Arts & Design collection in NYC. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, MOMA/PS 1, the Brooklyn Museum and other museums and galleries across the United States and Europe. In 2007 she was the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.  She has received the American Academy in Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Joan Mitchel Foundation, and Anonymous Was a Woman. Cooper’s work is numerous public collections including The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The British Museum and The New York Public Library. Cooper lives and works in NYC and teaches at Columbia University.

More info at

New Book: Contemporary Art Underground

Double Take, Diana Cooper’s installation for MTA Arts & Design is featured in the new book “Contemporary Art Underground” available for pre-order. A celebration of more than 100 major public art commissions throughout the New York transit system.

“Contemporary Art Underground” presents more than 100 permanent projects completed between 2015 and 2023 by MTA Arts & Design. This ground-breaking program of site-specific projects by a broad spectrum of well-known and emerging contemporary artists has helped to create a sense of character and place at subway and commuter rail stations throughout the MTA system. Among the featured artists are Diana Cooper, Yayoi Kusama, Kiki Smith, Nick Cave, Ann Hamilton, Xenobia Bailey, Jim Hodges, Alex Katz, Sarah Sze, and Vik Muniz.

Of special interest is the discussion of fabricating and transposing the artist’s rendering or model into mosaic, glass, or metal, the materials that can survive in the transit environment. This is the definitive survey of the latest works of the internationally acclaimed MTA Arts & Design collection. On view 24 hours a day, the collection is seen by more than four million subway riders and commuters daily and has been hailed as ‘New York’s Underground Art Museum.’ The collection enlivens stations in all boroughs, with a myriad works by major contemporary artists executed in mosaic, glass, metal, and ceramic.

MTA Arts & Design

MTA Arts & Design Unveils New Mosaic by Diana Cooper on Roosevelt Island

(NEW YORK, NY — July 11, 2023) MTA Arts & Design today announced the installation of a new permanent artwork on Roosevelt Island by Diana Cooper, Double Take. It is located across from the F train subway stop and is part of the East Side Access project that brought Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central Madison. Cooper was initially inspired by the visual experience of traveling through the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and moving from an artificial underground environment into a world of steel, glass, and stone in Manhattan, with buildings set at different angles and punctuated by blue skies and
waterways and the greens and browns of New Jersey. When she visited the MTA site, Cooper was struck by how similar her experience was to the one
subway riders have when they arrive on Roosevelt Island. Riders leave the reflected light of the subway tunnel to scale long metallic escalators and emerge into a building with large glass windows and views of the island greenery and the blue of the East River. Cooper’s designs consider the geometric forms found in the ventilation building, the Queensboro Bridge, the MTA subway station, Louis Kahn’s FDR Memorial, and the Roosevelt Island Tram, set against the grand backdrop of the East River. The wall designs marry abstract geometric shapes with organic forms, based on photographs she took of the river, as well as hand drawn imagery of fluid forms with colors that evoke the Island’s grass and trees. The gate design refers directly to the building’s louvers but is more colorful, playful, and permeable. Her hope is that people will feel transported smoothly and delightfully from the canyons of the MTA to an island surrounded by a river, with mountains of skyscrapers as backdrop.

“Upon arriving or departing, Roosevelt Islanders and visitors are greeted by Diana Cooper’s colorful mosaic and metal artwork,” said Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design. “It is quite exciting to see the realization of Double Take — and it will do just that, stop you in your tracks for a double take! One that will make you say, wow.”

Diana Cooper explained, “On first visiting the site I was struck by its visual potential. One emerges from the subway to see sky, a bridge, water, a ventilation structure, and Manhattan behind it all. That’s quite a mix. I wanted to pull all these elements together and somehow capture in a single work the dynamic energy latent in the experience. My aim was to blend the rigid geometric elements with fluid color to capture the play of light on the water especially. It was
an exciting project that opened up new avenues in my artistic practice.”

MTA Arts & Design
MTA Press Office: (212) 878-7440

Double Take Featured in Untapped New York

See the post.

Double Take Featured in Art Along the Way

See the post.

Double Take featured on

Read the article here.

Diana Cooper at Art Miami with Cheryl Numark Fine Art


1 Herald Plaza
Booth AM -130

VIP Previews: November 29 – 30
Public Days: December 1 – 4

View the preview here.

ETA in Real Life Magazine

Diana Cooper’s piece ETA, is featured in Grounded, an article in Real Life magazine.
Read the full article.

Lecture by Diana Cooper

This lecture will be held as a live stream on April 8, 5pm.

Click here to view the lecture
Meeting ID: 893 868 644
Password: 040820

POVarts Interview

Diana Cooper has been interview in POVarts, read the full piece here.

Monitors in Real Life Magazine

Diana Cooper’s piece Monitors, is featured in The Bones We Leave Behind, an article in Real Life magazine.
Read the full article.

The Review Panel

The Brooklyn Public Library, in association with, presents The Review Panel, an evening of critical conversation about art.

Tuesday October 1, 2019, 7-9pm
The Dweck Cultural Center, Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

For more information visit artcritical.

Spatial Entanglements

Diana Cooper has been featured in Susan Yelavich’s blog Assaying.

“I say focusing obfuscates and therein lies the fascination. The closer you get to one of her pieces the more pieces you see. The experience is akin to staring at a tree and trying to make out each individual leaf, or trying to trace the path of a single yarn in a complex weave – pleasurably futile and spellbinding exercises.”

Read the full piece here.

Tribeca Gallery Walk

Saturday, September 14th, 12 – 5pm
For More information visit

Sightings at Postmasters

September 7 – October 12, 2019
opening reception, Saturday 6-8pm

Whenever we open our eyes, we see. But we don’t always observe. Observation is a form of attentiveness, a way of focusing on objects and parsing out their permutations, in or out of the present context. Sightings, Diana Cooper’s new show at Postmasters and her first in six years, is an adventure in observation, an invitation to attentiveness.

Admired for her playful drawings and mixed media installations that riff off of technological and information systems, in this show Cooper explores the subtle interplay of observer and observed. In constructions, painting, and video she disorients the viewer by combining and recombining images in uncanny ways that render them both abstract and expressive. It seems she is drawing with fragments of our own unexplored or repressed visual experience. Stacks of chairs become ocean waves; security cameras stare as us, pleading; enormous folding rulers burst from the wall, threatening; an elevator ride is transformed into a trippy reverie of the beyond; mirrors bring us into the maelstrom of these images, exposing our gaze. The viewer emerges into a world suddenly reenchanted.

In an interview in Art News the artist Oliver Herring, who once participated in an exhibition with her in Shenzhen, China, made this remark about Cooper’s powers of observation:

I learned to love how Diana sees scrappy detail and opportunity in everything and everywhere. If you ever have a chance to take a stroll with her through an urban landscape, do it. You won’t look at that blighted lot or that rusty street curb quite the same afterwards.

Cooper puts it this way:

What I make is a byproduct of how I experience the world. I have no sense of direction so any object can potentially become a landmark, a point of interest. They are markers, without which I am lost. Once I’m in my studio images of these markers suddenly fall into patterns or structures, or become wonderfully abstract. The ordinary becomes unrecognizable, wonder filled, mysterious. Stop and look and then look again could be the subtext of this show. So much art making is about framing the world in ways that enable you to see what escaped your attention. But in my work a frame can be both a way of focusing, or one of obfuscating. I am repeatedly struck by the difficulty of pinning down anything visual. Things are always more than they first appear to be.

Commenting on Astral Lift, a new, kaleidoscope-like piece in the show that began with an elevator ride in Shanghai, she adds:

An elevator is a potentially claustrophobic space but it is also an opportunity for transformation. I try to be attentive to the times when someone decides to embrace that opportunity. To fill an elevator with so many lights and mirrors that you feel like you are in the final scene in the funhouse from Orson Welles’s film Lady from Shanghai. In situations like these, the more you look the more you see, but seeing does not bring clarity. Quite the contrary.

But the pieces in Sightings also seem to point to a half-hidden world where everything coheres. The French poet Yves Bonnefoy spoke of his poetry as attempts to access, if only for an instant, what he called l’arrière pays, the land that is always just over the horizon, receding as we approach it. At times Diana Cooper’s assemblages seem to be just that, peeks into a world that draws us ever on.

Diana Cooper (born 1964) is Brooklyn-based artist. This is her seventh solo show at the gallery. Recent solo shows include Highwire at the Moss Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, Gleanings (1997-2018) at the New York Studio School in NYC. Double Take, a new permanent outdoor installation commissioned by the MTA is to be installed on Roosevelt Island in 2020. Cooper is a recipient of the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and Anonymous Was A Woman. She currently teaches at Columbia University.

Special thanks to the Pollock Krasner Foundation.
For more information visit

Sightings at Postmasters

Sightings, Diana Cooper’s solo show at Postmasters Gallery, opens Saturday September 7 from 6-8 PM at Postmasters (54 Franklin Street NYC).

The show will be up from September 6 – October 12, 2019.

Safety Last in Real Life Magazine

Diana Cooper’s piece Safety Last, is featured in Network of Blood, an article in Real Life magazine.
Read the full article.

Screenscapes at Postmasters

Still Image from CCTV Multiplexer

Diana Cooper has work in Screenscapes, a group show at Postmasters on view from July 6 to August 11, 2018.
Included in this show is her recent video CCTV Multiplexer.

Mappa Mundi: Diana Cooper at the Studio School in artcritical

Diana Cooper’s solo show Gleanings (1997-2018) has been reviewed by David Cohen for artcritical.

Read the full article here.

Gleanings at The New York Studio School

Diana Cooper’s solo show Gleanings (1997-2018) will be on view at the New York Studio School from March 9 to April 15, 2018, opening Friday March 9 from 6 to 8pm. Additionally, Diana Cooper will be giving a lecture on her work on Tuesday April 10th at 6:30pm.

For more information, download the PDF or visit the New York Studio School site.

HighWire, Diana Cooper’s Installation at Virginia Tech

Diana Cooper’s site specific installation HighWire is on view at the grand lobby of the Moss Center for the Arts at Virginia.
The mural is 17 ft high with a running length of 116 ft, covering 8 adjacent walls.

The mural will be up from February 11, 2016 through spring 2018 at the Moss Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech.

View the press release here.

Articulate at Art3

Curated by David Cohen
April 5 through May 21, 2017
109 Ingraham street, Brooklyn, NY

Prismatic Shifts at the Ildiko Butler Gallery, Fordham University

February 24 through March 31, 2017
Ildiko Butler Gallery
113 W60th street, NYC

For more about this show, here is a write-up in Artcritical.

Diana Cooper on We Eat Art

September 7, 2016

Diana Cooper has been interview on the We Eat Art Podcast.

Diana Cooper makes wonderfully detailed microcosmic abstractions that start with painting and drawing and then go where they need to from there. She got like a Guggenheim grant and a 10-year retrospective at the Cleveland MOCA and is generally a badass. We talk about painting, dancing, music, frustration, tiny worlds and other things.

Grayscale at Postmasters

June 24 through August 6, 2016
Postmasters Gallery
54 Franklin Street, NYC

Drawing for Sculpture

January 8-February 14, 2016
Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA)
329 Willoughby Avenue #2A
Brooklyn NY 11237

Dialogues: Drawings and Works

Satellite Contemporary
Las Vegas NV
January 9- February 12, 2016

50 Shades of Red

Herter Gallery
UMASS Amherst
February 28-March 24, 2016

For more information visit the UMASS Fine Arts Center website.

New Prints by Diana Cooper at Editions/Artist’s Book Fair

Oehme Graphics
Jungle Press Editions

November 5-8, 2015
The Tunnel in Chelsea NYC
269 11th Avenue 10011

This is what Sculpture Looks Like

Postmasters Gallery
June 14 – August 2, 2014

For more info about this show, here is a write-up in Blouin ArtInfo, as well as a slideshow.
Here is a write-up of the show in The Huffington Post.