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Barrie Cooke, b.1931

Bone Box 411967

Barrie Cooke moved to Ireland in 1954 and has been closely associated with the Irish Landscape ever since. He lived in the Burren in Co Clare, during the 1950s and 1960s and like most artists his surroundings and experiences was his inspiration.
The artist used the human figure explicitly in his work and applied the same fluid brushstrokes in his treatment of the female nude as he did in his landscapes.
Cooke carried a sketchbook with him and constantly recorded scenes, which he referred to in his paitings whether it was a rock, a stream or an animal. In the absence of a sketchbook he stated that he traced the line on his hand with his finger, training the eye to capture and record the image through memorizing the line, which later became the brushstroke.

Cooke produced sculptures he called ‘Bone Boxes’, in the early 1970s. They inspired his friend Seamus Heaney whose Bog Poems (1975), were illustrated with drawings by Cooke.

MediumMixed media, including plaster, paint, perspex
Dimensions18.7 x 25.2 x 12.9 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.168 GL
Not on view
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Image Caption
Barrie Cooke, Bone Box 41, 1967, Mixed media, including plaster, paint, perspex, 18.7 x 25.2 x 12.9 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Barrie Cooke 1931–2014

Born in Cheshire, Barrie Cooke studied Art History at Harvard University and moved to Ireland in 1954. He held his first solo exhibition in Dublin the following year. Cooke has exhibited widely throughout Europe, the US and Canada. Major retrospectives of his work were held at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin in 1986 and at the RHA in 1995. Cooke exhibited at IMMA in 2008. His work is represented in public and private collections worldwide. — View Artist »