Main Gallery

Christopher Cook

a chance encounter on the way down

22 May - 28 June, 2014

Christopher Cook’s first exhibition with Art First comprises a new sequence on primed linen and a series of 12 works on paper conceived in Italy.

The use of graphite powder in resin and oil suspension has been central to Cook’s practice for over fifteen years, its fleeting instability now mirrored in the current imagery. Where previously we have been taken to eerie motorway tunnels and theatre sets, we now have to work hard to identify cliff paths, skittering walkways, purposeless staircases and gnomic abstractions. Cook says that “the 'way down' is down a Ligurian hillside and also down to the unconscious”. The journey becomes a means of mapping the vagaries of the mind - pathways appear strewn with thornbush and it is possible to lose one’s footing. We sense the familiar but without roots or signifiers. Small, mysterious worlds within hidden cavities pull us in without explanation.

Christopher Cook studied at Exeter University and the Royal College of Art. He has had solo exhibitions in London since 1985, and in New York over the past ten years. Other major solo shows include Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan and Today Art Museum, Beijing. His work is held in collections in the USA, such as the Metropolitan Museum, NY, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Yale Center for British Art, and in the UK at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the British Museum. This exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with an introduction by Ian Hunt.