“Domestic Bliss” at Cross Contemporary Art

copich-HZTSusan Copich’s “Domestic Bliss” photos, which open in a solo exhibition at Cross Contemporary Art on Partition St. Saturday, Aug. 1, have a cool dark edge about them, a modern take on all that lurked behind the surface of the Peyton Places and Stepford Wives of previous generations, or the films of Douglas Sirk and his talented follower, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

“I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject… and navigate both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother and wife, as well as those — personal, social, and cultural — that are imposed by others,” says the Ohio State BFA grad, now living in the area with her husband and two daughters. “My work is my commentary on how a family can live a public life that is far from their private life, even within the family; how secrets are kept, coddled and nurtured”

Think of it as Cindy Sherman remaking herself for the more family-oriented 21st century, rather than the club-oriented world of the 1970s and ’80s. Think in terms of ex-urban lives, kinda perfect on the one hand, but harried by the nearness of real nature on the other. Copich, who has also shot documentary-style, stages her works — mixes in a bit of Sally Mann’s early blunt gaze. Then chills it all out with an elegant veneer and narrative twist.


Given the way “Domestic Bliss” has already landed in NYC and other art towns, it’s the perfect show for what has quickly become the region’s most daring gallery over the past year.

The show opens with an artist’s reception Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. and runs through Aug. 23. Call gallery owner Jen Dragon at 399-9751 for further information. The gallery’s address is 81 Partition St.