14th October - 13th November, 2008
In his first major exhibition, Iridescence, at Art First, Richard Cook presents an entire body of new paintings reaching into the core of man's relationship with the natural landscape.
Working from the surroundings immediate to his home in Newlyn, Cornwall, Cook's breathtaking paintings are key inheritors of the British landscape tradition - fusing a classical regard for light and composition with a powerful expressionism deeply rooted in the psychology of self.
Michael Archer writes in his essay for Iridescence:
"Earth, air and water: that's three of the elements. The fourth, fire, is ever present too in the sunlight, which reveals and animates everything that falls under the eye. Light is the key. Whether it is the stark, luminous grey of a cloudy winter sky, dappled light through summer foliage, or the sparkle of the sun off the water's surface, it suffuses Cook's paintings and radiates from them. Luminous, indeed, is an apt term, being the word chosen by Cook as the title of his 2001 exhibition at Tate St Ives. On this occasion he has decided upon Iridescence, and in both cases the words indicate that for Cook the illumination of the world is an active rather than a passive process. The world is not lit, it lights..."
A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition with a new essay by Michael Archer, art critic and Head of School at the Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford.