Fri 7 April – Sun 2 July 2017
Abbot Hall is delighted to present an exhibition of work by Cumbrian artist Julian Cooper on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The show comprises 30 monumental paintings that serve as a powerful distillation of his extensive output over the last 45 years, ranging from domestic-sized works less than a metre tall to enormous canvases nearly three metres wide. The diversity of scale and subject matter in the show reflect the artist’s own travels – although generally associated with the Lake District, where he grew up as part of a dynasty of Lakeland painters, his work has been inspired by trips to South America, the Alps, the Himalayas, the quarries of Tasmania and Carrara, as well as literary voyages of the imagination.
The exhibition traces the evolution and development of Cooper’s art throughout his career. It starts with works that could be characterised as a form of abstraction with figurative elements, before continuing with figurative paintings that incorporate social, political, historical and literary devices. The work then evolves again into a unique form of representation that is frequently near-abstract in its emphasis on the texture, shadow and irregular surfaces of rock and ice. In his more recent canvases, the artist has returned to the Cumbrian landscape to engage at close hand with the relationship between rock, trees and vegetation.
The exhibition is in partnership with Art Space Gallery, London. www.artspacegallery.co.uk
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