New works by award-winning artist Christopher Cook are now display at York Art Gallery as part of the exhibition Making a Masterpiece: Bouts and Beyond.
Christopher Cook, 2019 winner of the Sunny Art Prize, was comissioned to create artworks in response to some of the Gallery’s most famous historical canvases – a selection of paintings that feature in the current exhibition Making a Masterpiece: Bouts and Beyond (1450 – 2020).
Cook was born in North Yorkshire and has exhibited his art internationally, with shows in New York, Frankfurt and Yokohoma. As well as being featured in numerous publications he also undertook a two year residency at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
He works in liquid graphite, creating experimental black and white works inspired by the brightly coloured historical still life paintings. Frans Snyders’ A Game Stall (c. 1625-30), Alexander Adriaenssen’s Still Life with Fish and Cat (1631) and Juriaan van Streek’s Vanitas (c. 1665-75) are just some of historical paintings on show that Cook chose to respond to.
The results of Cook’s work creates a contemporary restlessness and brings forward hidden themes and meanings from those earlier works such as vanity, transient wealth and capitalism. These themes are still highly relevant and resonate with us today.
Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein from the University of York, an expert on early Netherlandish art and co-curator of the exhibition, said: “What Cook’s images do is focus on the moral problems involved in the desire to accumulate and then protect wealth, problems he views as intertwined with the structures of capitalism.”
The five new works are on display until Sunday (January 26). The exhibition is included in the admission price to York Art Gallery.