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Details & Cataloguing

Irish Art

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London

Barrie Cooke
1931-2014
LONG NUDE
signed, titled and dated on the reverse: Long Nude/ Barrie Cooke/ 2006
oil on canvas
185 by 185cm., 72¾ by 72¾in.
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Provenance

Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, where purchased by the present owner

Exhibited

Dublin, Kerlin Gallery, Barrie Cooke, 2006;
Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Barrie Cooke, June - September 2011, no.65, illustrated, with tour to Cork, Crawford Art Gallery and Paris, Centre Culturel Irlandais

Catalogue Note

Having extensively travelled for much of his life, Barrie Cooke’s style has undoubtedly been influenced by the encounters and sights he witnessed in the numerous countries he visited across the world. His richly expressionist, semi-abstract style is typically displayed in this oil on canvas- Long Nude- displaying a female form lying languidly across a dark bed. Over his artistic career, Cooke continuously returned to painting the nude in varying poses and this focus can be viewed as one of his most consistent subjects of expression - the present work being a seminal example.

The stark contrast in the colours between the pale nude and black background highlights the reclining figure, focusing our attention on the brushstrokes and technique producing the varying contours of her curving form. The fluid effect of the thinned down oil paint allows the rich colours to spread smoothly across the canvas, giving an almost watercolour-like quality.

Forgetting past artistic traditions set by Old Masters, Cooke does not idealise his female nudes, painting directly from life. This work represents the modern emblem of the reclining nude, displaying a sexual and desirable energy that focuses on the physical form and consequently reinvents a theme that has been consistently practised over the history of art.

Irish Art

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London