Press Release

Art Now: Nigel Cooke

Art Now: Nigel Cooke: Press related to past Tate exhibiton.

Tate Britain  Art Now space
7 February – 28 March 2004

Tate Britain’s Art Now programme reflects current developments in contemporary British art. It consists of up to five exhibitions a year which demonstrate the quality and variety of new art in the UK.

Nigel Cooke’s Art Now display will be his first solo show in London for two years, and the first time that his paintings have been exhibited in a British national gallery. In several new, meticulously crafted paintings Cooke creates a nightmarish view of a world littered with the rubble of abandoned buildings, wrecked cars, insects, skulls and severed heads. These deeply dysfunctional landscapes are simultaneously familiar and alien, classical and kitsch, composed and chaotic.

Cooke works on an epic scale, but dwells on the minutiae of decay and dissolution. He paints with scientific accuracy but creates scenes that could never actually exist. Skulls seem to appear and disappear against the foliage and rubble in this strange other-world. His paintings resonate with references to visionary landscape painters such as John Martin and Francis Danby, but are also very much rooted in the present. All of the works in the Art Now exhibition will not have been on public display before, and two canvases measuring up to twelve feet long have been conceived specifically for the gallery space at Tate Britain.

Nigel Cooke, born in 1973, lives and works in London. He studied at The Royal College of Art and is currently studying for his Fine Art PHD at Goldsmiths College, London. Cooke’s work was recently included in Dirty Pictures at The Approach gallery, London and Landscape at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.

The next exhibition in the Art Now series will feature new work by Muntean and Rosenblum (17 April - 20 June 2004). The artists have worked in collaboration since 1992 and have participated in many international exhibitions. They live and work in Vienna and London. The exhibition is a collaboration between Tate Britain and Platform for Art, the public art programme for London Underground. Muntean and Rosenblum will be exhibiting at Gloucester Road underground station from 24 April - 19 July 2004.