Jean Cooke: A Modern Venus
Enter the world of Jean Cooke this spring with Piano Nobile's new exhibition at Kings Place. Cooke was a remarkable, bird-like woman, and this display reveals her highly individual attitude to picture-making. With work from the full span of her career, this is a rare chance to glimpse one of Britain's greatest woman painters of the twentieth century.
For many years, Cooke made regular visits to the family's holiday home at Birling Gap in Sussex. She and her young children would walk along the chalky white cliffs and climb down to the beach, exploring the caves and crevices along the coast. Some of Cooke's most remarkable works depict these caves from within, looking out to sea. The exhibition includes several of these and similar works, providing an insight into Jean Cooke's unique perspective on the world around her.
Though she engaged with the examples of her teacher, Carel Weight, and her husband, John Bratby, Cooke's outlook was highly individual. She was no follower and her work has a distinctive atmosphere all of its own. Her interiors are all lived in; her figure paintings evince the inner life of the sitter; her landscapes crawl into the smallest crevice, and look back on the world outside. Driven by a compulsion to observe, Cooke forged with her work a unique place in the recent history of British art.
Jean Cooke | A Modern Venus coincides with Venus Unwrapped, a new season of culture at Kings Place. The exhibition follows the Jerwood Gallery's major retrospective of the artist's work, Jean Cooke: Delight in the Thing Seen, which was held in 2017.
For more information and a list of available works, please contact the gallery.
Saturday 23 March 2019, 4pm
To be given by David Bratby, the son of Jean Cooke and John Bratby