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Barrie Cooke, b.1931

Megaceros Hibernicus1983

Cooke’s art often deals with issues of nature and culture, particularly with the formation and transformation of the environment over time. The skeleton of Megaceros Hibernicus, the largest deer of the species which flourished at the end of the last ice age, was recovered from the bog-lands of Ireland. For Cooke the elk represented a powerful symbol of pre-civilised consciousness. In Cooke’s painting the elk emerges from the gloomy bog-land with its enormous antlers treated like massive antennae transmitting, as it were, a message from the past. Yielded up by the bog, the elk demonstrates the process of perpetual interchange that occurs in the cycles of nature.

MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions168.5 x 183 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.173 GL
Not on view
Copyright © The Estate of Barrie Cooke.
For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.
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Image Caption
Barrie Cooke, Megaceros Hibernicus, 1983, Oil on canvas, 168.5 x 183 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 »