MAURICE COCKRILL RA – New Paintings
2nd – 26th June 2009
Adam Gallery, 24 Cork St, London W1S 3NJ
Adam Gallery is delighted to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by Maurice Cockrill. As Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools since 2004, Cockrill works at the heart of the Visual Arts world, and remains one of the most original artists working in Britain today. Cockrill's work is in many private and public collections including the British Museum, Arts Council of Great Britain, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and the Royal Academy of Arts. A retrospective of his work (1974-1994) was held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1995) and a further retrospective was held at the Royal West of England Academy (1998). This exhibition represents a celebration and re-appraisal of his career that is long overdue.
These new paintings are gutsy vivid compositions that speak straight to the realm of emotion. The artist is famous for his breadth of techniques and themes, saying: 'the artists I've admired most, like Picasso, are the protean ones. I'd rather be changing shape than just be doing the same thing time after time.' Yet these paintings demonstrate a supreme confidence of colour and form: a synthesis and culmination of this extraordinary painter's career.
The serpentine and lyrical curves in paintings such as 'Jade Garden' (illustrated above right) reveal Cockrill's preoccupation with organic forms, especially water and the phases of a river. The curves can be seen as river-maps flowing round the canvases – reminiscent of series of pictures such as the 'Conwy River Cycle' (1998). Rivers are important to Cockrill as they evoke the cycle of life – birth, maturity, decay and regeneration.
The complexity of Cockrill's painting technique involves layering, pouring paint and blocking out sections only to be revealed in the painting's final shape. Two part compositions, such as 'Still Alive in the Trunk' (illustrated above left), suggest oppositions and divisions that are important in Cockrill's work such as male and female, narrative and decorative, and freedoms and limitations.
Adam Gallery, 24 Cork Street, London W1S 3NJ, United Kingdom.
tel: 0207 439 6633 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10 – 6, Saturday 11-3.