Late & Post Modern

Peter Coker RA: New Work 2002

48 pages, paper, 242 x 168 mm, 45 colour illustrations
PRICE: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 903470 15 2

 


Introduction by Frances Spalding

 

‘Of all the episodes within Peter Coker’s long career,’ writes Frances Spalding, ‘none is more surprising than the recent explosion of creativity following a difficult time of illness.’

Born in 1926, Peter Coker was elected RA in 1972; his substantial output of acknowledged work was recently commemorated in a catalogue raisonné. Since a stroke in 1990 his work has been severely impaired, but the chance discovery of some earlier drawings sparked this ‘explosion of creativity’, consisting of mixed media works, large oil paintings, lithographs and a series of etchings, The Parisian Suite. All the work is based on views from a particular spot by the Pont au Change to the Ile St-Louis in central Paris. It conveys, in Coker’s vigorous, decisive handling, sensations of energy, speed, rush, chaos and interruption in the city. Strong blues and occasional purples dominate many compositions; the brushmarks ‘eddy together like driftwood’. The oils are beautifully complemented by the elegant, varied and sprightly etchings.

Frances Spalding is well known for her biographies of Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and the Tate Gallery, among other books and articles. This book, in which Peter Coker took personal care and pride, represents something of the strength of mind of this fine painter, whose death in 2004 is greatly regretted.


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