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Christopher Cook

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Christopher Cook has worked in monochrome for twenty years, having developed an idiosyncratic medium from graphite powder and resin. These works have been the subject of many international solo exhibitions including at Heidelberger Kunstverein Germany, Yokohama Art Museum Japan, Today Art Museum Beijing, Memphis Art Museum USA and Ryan Lee Gallery New York, as well as in the UK at Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne, and the Ferens Gallery Hull. His work received a prize at John Moores XXI and first prize in the New Light exhibition 2017-18, and is held in major international collections, including Cleveland Museum USA, Minneapolis Museum of Art, USA, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, Yale Centre for British Art, USA, the British Museum UK, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge UK, and four works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York.

Cook appreciates Odilon Redon’s position that “one must respect black, nothing prostitutes it. It does not please the eye and it awakens no sensuality. It is the agent of the mind far more than the most beautiful colour of the palette or prism”. He also speaks of connections between the use of greyscale and early photography, and of how his process combines aspects of both drawing and painting.

His current graphite images are based on 17th century Dutch Still Life painting, a preoccupation that began with simple transpositions of major paintings, but has now become an important series. Of these works Cook says:

“A clear intention of the Dutch genre is as display of wealth and power, and the closer I looked, the more the genre seemed to represent colonialist expansionism and a ‘coming of age’ of capitalism and materialism. This invited the insertion of elements to explore contemporary implications of the tradition, elements suggestive of capitalist discord: exploitation, conflict, protectionism. I want to maintain a balance between reverence for the original works and this destabilising tendency”.

Selected Solo shows

2019     
York Art Gallery

2018
Ryan Lee Gallery New York

2015     
Hubner and Hubner Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany

2014     
Art First London

2013     
Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

2011     
Langgeng Foundation, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2010     
Mary Ryan Gallery New York

2009     
Fine Art Society London

2007     
Today Art Museum, Beijing

Mary Ryan Gallery, New York

2005     
Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan

California State University Long Beach

2004     
Art Museum, University of Memphis, TN

Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY

Diboll Gallery, New Orleans, USA

2003     
Hirschl Contemporary Art, London

Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

2002     
Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp

2001     
Ferens Museum, Hull, UK

Hirschl Contemporary Art, London

Towner Museum and Art Gallery, Eastbourne

2000     
Heidelberger Kunstverein, Germany

Selected Group Exhibitions
2018     
Layers of Visibility, NiMAC Nicosia

New Light, Tullie House Carlisle

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries, London

2017     
Art First @ Eagle Gallery London

New Light, Bowes Museum, Co Durham.

Langgeng Fundation Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2014     
John Moores Liverpool

Flow Szechuan Art Academy, Chongqing, China

2013     
Graphite GVArt, London

MIMA Middlesbrough

2012     
Amalgam, Mary Ryan New York

2011     
Dust on the Mirror, ICA Singapore

Drawings for the New Century, Minneapolis Museum of Art USA

Grey, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

2010     
Dust on the Mirror, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham UK

2009     
Triangle Gallery, Chelsea School of Art London

Spazi Aperti, Accademia di Romania, Rome, Italy

2008     
Leaded, Salina Art Gallery, Kansas, USA and tour

Tempo Reale, British School at Rome, Italy.

2007     
Trace and Transience CCANW Devon

2006     
Until it Makes Sense, Gallery Seventeen, London.

Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris

2005     
Yale Center for British Art USA

Recent Acquisitions Cleveland Museum USA

2004     
Drawing Weatherspoon Art Center, N Carolina, USA

2003     
East of Eden Spacex Gallery Exeter

2002     
Crossing the Border  Morley Gallery, London

2001     
West by South West, Stavanger Kunstmuseum, Norway

2000     
John Moores 21, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Prizewinner)

Awards
2017     
New Light First Prize

2013     
Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, Liguria, Italy

2011     
Resident Artist, Langgeng Foundation, Jogjakarta, Indonesia

2009     
PAS Scholar, British School at Rome

2006     
British Council Award, Beijing

2005     
Daiwa Award, Yokohama Triennial

2004     
British Council Award to University of Memphis, USA

2001     
Arts Council England Residency, Eden Project Cornwall UK

2000     
AHRC award, Bundanon Trust, Australia

1999     
John Moores XXI Prizewinner

Education
1979-81 B.A. English Literature and Fine Art, University of Exeter

1983-86 M.A. Painting, Royal College of Art London

Currently: Reader in Painting, University of Plymouth

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