DAVID COX - A ST. IVES PERSPECTIVE
A very personable fellow by all accounts, Cox was chosen by Borlase Smart as Secretary to the St. Ives Art Society to continue the work of accommodating the modern within the traditional, but it was to be an impossible task. Alfred Munnings RA (the absent St. Ives President) abandoned St. Ives to its devices and therefore after all the wrangling peculiar to groups of British artists Cox instigated the formation of the Penwith Society of Artists. Exhausted by doing so much for others Cox assimilated the lessons coming from French modern painting and was again drawn, through his compulsion to paint, to the light of St. Tropez where he would exist as a painter seeking the shadows of Picasso and Braque - the colours of Mattisse and Bonnard.
Painting however is a lonely business and Cox missed 'family', so returned to Suffolk where he had briefly lived after St. Ives, to set up a school and share with others his knowledge and enthusiasm. But he was also drawn to the Eastern light that he knew J.M.W. Turner would have known, again to vanish into the mists of that enigmatic coast.
So once more the Cornish light of Penwith falls upon the works of this great Cornishman who like many of his County have had to leave to find themselves.
It is sad, but typical that when invited to this show the representative for the St. Ives Art Society said, "Oh no - he's not one of ours!"
- The Penzance Art Gallery follows a more enlightened path.
An appreciation of his life's work is on show at The Penzance Art Gallery, 1 East Terrace, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 2TD. 01736 332999 from 12th November until 3rd December 2005 continuing the Gallery's tradition of winter historical shows placing British Contemporary painting in context as a response to the Schools of Newlyn and St. Ives.
Some works will be available for purchase.