June 29, 2022

Exhibition, Sale of New Works by Jasper Goodrich, Morteza Khakshoor on View at Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme

‘Becoming’, by Morteza Khakshoor, is one of the signature paintings in the upcoming, ‘Where They Began’ exhibition at The Cooley Gallery. The artwork is acrylic on birch panel, 20” x 24”, 2020.

The Cooley Gallery’s First Endemic Era Show, ‘Where They Began,’ is Guest Curated by International Artist, Lyme Resident Christian Brechneff

OLD LYME, CTThe Cooley Gallery has announced its first exhibition in over two years and for this special show, the gallery joins forces with the artist, Christian Brechneff of Lyme, Conn.

Where They Began, is an exhibition and sale opening at The Cooley Gallery, Thursday, May 26. It includes works by former Essex resident Jasper Goodrich and Lyme Academy alumnus, Morteza Khakshoor, who are both artists with ties to the region and talents worthy of highlight in the eyes of Brechneff.

There will be an opening reception for the show on Thursday, May 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is welcome. The show will be on display through June 25, 2022.

There is a centuries-long tradition of attracting and nurturing artists along this southern end of the Connecticut River. Maybe it is the topography, or perhaps the light, or could it be the long history of encouragement and tolerance artists find when they are here? 

Internationally-acclaimed artist Brechneff decided he would like to play his part in the area’s artistic history and curate a show of works by two young artists with connections to this part of Connecticut that Brechneff calls home. 

Brechneff has had numerous exhibitions at The Cooley Gallery over the years, book-signings, and gallery owners Jeff and Betsey Cooley appeared briefly in his biographical documentary, Like Notes of Music

This work by Jasper Goodrich titled ‘Whale Rock to Essex’ was painted in 2020 in oil on unstretched linen, 26 x 45 inches.

When Brechneff approached Jeff Cooley about the idea of a show of works by two young artists Jeff simply could not refuse. “This region of Connecticut has a long history of supporting artists and their work. We are thrilled to be able to play a small role in both Christian’s vision and in keeping this tradition alive,” says Jeff Cooley.

This two-man show is a slight deviation for the gallery in Old Lyme, which was established in 1986, but not completely out of character. Cooley explains, “We are known as gallery that mostly shows historic art from Old Lyme but we have to go outside those parameters from time to time. I think it’s important to look outside the usual,  especially if there’s a logical thread.”

He concludes, “Christian’s enthusiasm for these two artists was notable and it meant a lot to us to share his vision.”

This work by Jasper Goodrich, ‘Piling L’ is featured in the new show at The Cooley Gallery.

Color and context are important features in the work of these two artists. Jasper Goodrich’s connection to the area began as a child in Essex. He recalls looking across the Connecticut River to Old Lyme. Maybe those distant views of inlets and rock formations fueled his confidence to work in numerous different media. 

Goodrich visits family in Essex, but currently makes his home in Chicago and teaches at the School for the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Printmedia Department and at the Hyde Park Art Center, where he created a class titled “Sequences, Iterations and Permutations.”

He received his BS from Skidmore College and his MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Brechneff chose Goodrich’s work as it explores external influences in the artistic process and how those influences weave together in the artist’s mind and is communicated through the work.

‘Sunrise and Sunset’ is another striking work by Morteza Khakshoor, who is a 2015 alumnus of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Morteza Khakshoor’s connection to this area started a little further away. Born in Iran, he came to this country to continue his fine art studies, specifically to the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and earned his BFA from the College in 2015.

Khakshoor, who lives and works in Southern, California, puts powerful imagery into small scale.

The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday 12 to 5 p.m. and almost anytime by appointment, 860-304-2386, and all the time at cooleygallery.com.