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Daisy Cook

Ways and Meanings


Cover: Headland (detail) oil on canvas 92 x 102 cm


Daisy Cook: The Descriptive Augmented Every artist making work of value today has an intimate relationship with the art of the past, with the landscape and memory-scape of earlier times, with the habits and notions of preceding eras. We ignore these things at our own risk, for neither art nor humanity can exist in a vacuum. One of the main problems facing the contemporary artist is the urge to be original. Just as art students often don’t realize they are repeating the work of their predecessors (reinventing the wheel), so do supposedly more mature artists rashly jettison all sense of history in order to be up-to-date. True originality comes not from chasing the gimmicky and ephemeral, but from a greater understanding of our position and condition. We need to study the past, to be connected to it, in order to make sense of the present and be able to edge into the future. Art can illuminate this course of action, by its dual investigation of the interior and exterior life. Daisy Cook’s new work brings these considerations close upon our senses, through paintings which evoke the previous histories of a landscape, the ghosts of presences and alignments long gone but still discernible. It is by no means accidental that in some of her latest paintings the trees begin to look like figures (or is it vice versa?). The thin liquid paint, with its runs and drips, suggests rather than states, while her colour evokes a complexity of mood that is almost archaeological in its analysis of varying traces. Design, as in underlying structure, is here brought to the surface and allowed a dialogue with appearances. In a painting of trees, triangles of strong colour might occur in the interstices between branches, interrupting the clear outline of the tree’s form, challenging it. The obvious externals of nature are checked and balanced by geometry and abstract pattern, local colour is subverted with decorative colour, the descriptive augmented. We must not forget that landscape is active through its structure, through its forming effect on us, its inhabitants. Likewise is it active in Cook’s paintings – not a passive subject to be simply stared at, but a partner to collaborate with.


Under the clear unimpeded light of a high sky, Cook explores her personal relationship with the landscape she paints. (It is highly relevant that last year, in March 2012, she walked a section of the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrim route through Spain. She found the experience very moving.) Her paintings are traversed with roads and walkways, with crossings, as well as articulated through the push and pull of blocks of colour and a history of marks which appear and disappear through the layers of painterly activity. As do references to admired artists from Diebenkorn to Vaughan, though without in any way qualifying her sense of personal artistic authority. Blush of shoot and pallor of root are matched by the battlemented embodiment of a headland rising through mist; nature’s endurance and renewal. Like Eric Ravilious and Paul Nash, Daisy Cook is, in Robert Macfarlane’s telling and atmospheric phrase, an ‘artist of the path’, and as the ancient wisdom has it, it’s better to travel hopefully than arrive. Cook follows the maps of the heart down the landscape tracks, across the open spaces of her resonant paintings. The pilgrimage of art is subtly present in all her work: inner landscape conjoined with and commenting upon the outer. There is a new breadth to her imagery and a new tenderness, matched with resolution. Her work has never looked so richly beguiling. Andrew Lambirth September 2013


Coastal Pathway oil on board 30 x 40 cm


Growth Series II oil on canvas 65 x 70 cm

Growth Series I oil on canvas 65 x 70 cm


Pollarded Trees oil on board 24 x 30cm


Yellow Triangles oil on board 18 x 13 cm


Shadow and Fold II oil on board 40 x 50 cm

Causeway oil on canvas 30 x 40 cm


Passage oil on canvas 110 x 153 cm

Shadow and Fold III oil on board 40 x 50 cm


Selected Solo Exhibitions 2013 Ways and Meanings Hilton Fine Art, Bath 2012 Hinterland Northcote Gallery, Chelsea, London 2010 Restless Earth Northcote Gallery, Chelsea, London 2008 Recollections Northcote Gallery, Chelsea, London 2007 Flatlands Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge 2006 Small Journeys Northcote Gallery, Chelsea, London 2004 Even on This Shore Northcote Gallery, London 2003 Tabula Rasa Stephen Lacey Gallery, London 2002 Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge 2001 Red Earth Stephen Lacey Gallery, London 2001 Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge 1999 Cuba Stephen Lacey Gallery, London 1998 Northcote Gallery, London 1997 Northcote Gallery, London 1996 Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London Selected Group Exhibitions (Since 2000) 2013 20/21 Royal College of Art, London Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, Berkley Square, London Art 2013 Hilton Fine Art, Business Design Centre, London Lynne Painter Stainers Competition, The Mall, London 2012 20/21,Royal College of Art, London Jenna Burlingham Fine Art, Battersea Park, London 2011 Hamptons Art Fair U.S.A San Diego Art Fair U.S.A 2010 20/21 Royal College, London Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives Cornwall 2009 Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge 2008 Art London, Chelsea 2007 20/21, Royal College of Art, London 2004 Contemporary British Landscape Waterhouse and Dodd Art London, Chelsea 2003 Stephen Lacey Gallery, London Art London, Chelsea Art 2003 Business Design Centre, London 2002 Place Zoe Benbow, Clare Wilson, Daisy Cook, Stephen Lacey, London

2001 Art London, Chelsea Art 2001 Maritime Arte International, Turin, Italy 2000 Stephen Lacey Gallery, London Art First, London Art Paris, France Cassian de Vere Cole Fine Art London Royal Academy Summer Show Corporate Collections La Caixa Bank, Majorca One Aldwych, London Manhatten Loft Corporation The Bank of England The Great Eastern Hotel Hoffman Investment


Hilton Fine Art 5 Margarets Buildings Bath BA1 2LP 01225 311311 info@hiltonfineart.com www.hiltonfineart.com

Daisy Cook 'Ways and Meanings' brochure  

Exhibition - 9th - 30th November 2013

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