Today we take a look through the work of British painter Nigel Cooke. 'Acknowledging the velocity of painting, the vitality of the impact of the paint iteslf and the perverse psychology of the strokes that make it, Cooke's paintings deliriously push and pull us from layers of depth and detail to extreme surfaces of impasto...'
Acknowledging the velocity of painting, the vitality of the impact of the paint itself and the perverse psychology of the strokes that make it, Cooke’s paintings deliriously push and pull us from layers of depth and detail to extreme surfaces of impasto. Despite the emphasis on the abstract, nevertheless, we are always returned to the inner workings of the characters that inhabit the picture- the lovers, holiday makers, sailors, sirens, clowns, chefs, half-wits and smoking flower people. There is a fascinatingly unique temporality and often seemingly blasé self-possession in each subject and object that survives the storm. The complexity of the layering of subject, narrative and the psychology of abstraction allows for an unusually protracted experience of each work, and seems to open a new chapter of painting. As Cooke puts it, “When does meaning get into the picture and convert the struggle into a second picture, outside of the mere paint, drawing the mind into a story, a setting, a drama? Why can't abstraction happen? And why, simultaneously, is it always already there?” - Andrea Rosen Gallery