Artists in the Collection

Barrie Cooke

Born 1931, England

Born in England and raised in Bermuda and the USA, Barrie Cooke has been based in Ireland since the mid 1950s. Cooke moved to the US as a teenager and studied Art History at Harvard University. He moved to Ireland in 1954 and had his first solo exhibition in Dublin the following year. Though he has been based in Ireland ever since, he is widely travelled and his richly expressionist, semi-abstract paintings have been strongly influenced by time spent in such far-flung places as Lapland, New Zealand, Borneo and Malaya. Nature in its infinite variety and irresistible flux is his chosen environment and subject matter. He has also, however, painted a number of nudes, as refracted through what Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney has referred to as his ‘aqueous vision’. He has collaborated with a number of prominent poets including Heaney and the British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, both of whom share his fascination with the elemental. Though primarily a painter he also produced a series of ‘bone boxes’ in perspex during the 1970s.

He has exhibited widely throughout Europe, the US and Canada. Major retrospectives includethe Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery in Dublin, LAC, Perpignan, France in 1995, the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1992 and the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1986. Recent exhibitions include The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; (2009); the Irish Musuem of Modern Art (2008), Iziko Museum, Cape Town (2007), Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo (2002). His work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Ulster Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Holland and in many other public and private collections worldwide.