Coplans's backs feel massive and there's a clear reference to Matisse's sculptures of backs; they have the same heaviness. There's a dialectic between the classical and the naturalistic. The cropping of the image is extremely important: what you have is a full frame of body. And you never really think of the body beyond what he's pictured.
They're about a man of 75 who only took up photography 10 years ago, dealing with the painful experience of age. They remind me of the paintings of Philip Guston. They're a tragicomic view of the world - almost farcical.
James Lingwood is co-director of Artangel and co-curator of
The Epic and the Everyday, at the Hayward Gallery, London SE1. To 29 August
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