Buchmann Galerie presents Nigel Cooke’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Nigel Cooke (born 1973 in Manchester, UK, lives and works in Kent, UK) is one of the most prominent painters of his generation. His large-format tableaus captivate with breath-taking combinations of figurative and abstract elements. Cooke creates contemporary visionary landscapes – epic yet highly personal paintings created from a combination of memory, imagination and intuition. Set in complex spaces lit with strange and sometimes toxic nuances of color, these images are often populated by fragmented or distorted figures – composite beings who move through the space whilst also seeming to merge with it.
Nigel Cooke’s approach to painting – as a process, as an object and as an image – questions, rewrites and undermines itself in the process of becoming a finished work. This process serves as much to corrupt the image as to depict it, creating instability on both physical and psychological levels. The works have echoes of many of the gestures and images persistent in art history, but re-organise them with a new kind of tension, becoming a complex equation of gestures, techniques and possibilities that explore the full vocabulary of painting. The almost symphonic range of marks and lines in the works attempts to capture the complexity of lived experience in a psychologically layered whole. In the artist’s words, a painting raises a question – “what’s the difference between painting and thinking, or painting and looking, or painting and living? In a way, a painting sits on a junction of all those things … It’s almost as if the point where those things meet suggests an image.”all images © the gallery and the artist(s)