Eleanor Coppola Press Release

Media Contact:          
Kate Eilertsen
707-939-7862 x12
Eleanor Coppola: 
Quiet, Creative Force
A Retrospective Exhibition
November 8, 2014 through January 25, 2015
Sonoma, CA — This fall, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presents the first comprehensive exhibition of the artwork of Eleanor Coppola. The exhibition, Eleanor Coppola: Quiet, Creative Force, will present examples of Coppola’s earliest work in design in the 1960’s, early art films and conceptual art actions, her work as a costume designer, photographer, documentary filmmaker, and writer, and a large selection of drawings, photographs, sculptures, and collaborative installations. A centerpiece of the exhibition is “Circle of Memory,” a room-sized installation composed of straw bales, photographs, and sound, which create a space for memorializing children who have died or are missing.
“I’ve always tried to define what constitutes art,” Coppola said. “I’ve never been interested in drawing in the traditional sense, but have always explored what is interesting to me visually and how to frame and express it as art.” 
The exhibition’s curators, SVMA Executive Director Kate Eilertsen and guest curator Diane Roby, have selected a range of objects that document Coppola’s early design work, short films and conceptual installations, her work as an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and drawings, photographs and sculpture that explore fleeting phenomena, and natural settings and materials. As a documentary filmmaker, she is best known for her film, “Hearts of Darkness,” which chronicled the making of her husband Francis Coppola’s film “Apocalypse Now.” The documentary will be shown in an evening program at the Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma. 
Since her earliest work in the 1960’s, Eleanor Coppola’s interests and sensibilities as an artist have reflected a consistent aesthetic based on quiet observation and often-minimal intervention. A member of a highly celebrated artistic family, she has persisted with her studio practice over the years in the midst of an active family life, frequent travel, and long stretches of time on film locations, changing surroundings that are often reflected in works that are fleeting, small in scale, and easy to transport.

“Whether working with pencils and watercolor on paper, shaping natural materials, or documenting the passage of time in photographs and films, Eleanor Coppola observes the world with an interest in subtly revealing the art that surrounds us in everyday actions and settings,” said Roby.

Coppola’s work reflects her inquisitive nature, and her interest in observing subtle changes that show the passage of time through changing shadows on a wall, or human interaction within an environment. She cites as artistic influences the work of Agnes Martin, Sol Lewitt, Joseph Beuys, and Asian textile design, and her works reflect her absorption of these influences, whether in sparse drawings inspired by Agnes Martin, actions and installations inspired by Joseph Beuys, or her sensitivity to the aesthetics of Japanese textiles and design.
“The diversity of Eleanor’s creative accomplishments is simply astounding,” said Eilertsen. “From her writing and filmmaking, to her collaborative installations and quiet drawings, she is able to share her musings in a deep, three-dimensional way. She is a treasure.”
About the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art:

Established in 1998, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a membership supported 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides seasonal exhibitions of contemporary and modern art and educational and public programming for children, youth and adults. Its mission is to be, “a magnet of creative energy and cultural inspiration with exhibitions and educational programs that engage the community in the art and ideas of our time, encouraging curiosity and innovation.”

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is located at 551 Broadway, one half block up from Sonoma’s historic Plaza. Regular Museum hours are 11am–5pm Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults. Children k–12 are admitted free, as are SVMA members. Additional information is available at www.svma.org or by calling (707) 939-7862.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by

Bank of the West  -  Buena Vista Winery  -  Jean Charles Boisset

Copyright ©2018 Sonoma Valley Museum of Art