John Coplans: Photographs 1980-1985
Edited by Melinda Wortz
Published by © 1985 University Art Gallery, UC Irvine
This exhibition of John Coplans' work from 1980-1985 was part of a series of exhibitions commemorating the University of California, Irvine’s twentieth anniversary. Coplans was the first director of the Fine Arts Gallery from 1965-7, which makes his work appropriate in a commemoration of the University. His work is interesting for a photographer, distinguished by his “painter’s sensibility…rather than [his] subjects or techniques." Coplans' work is best described as a series of “witty, provocative, occasionally elegant and always disquieting images of various stages of the human journey” that makes use of references to art-historical precedent, examplified in his use of a Pieta in his work Susie and Jamie.