The 15 new works presented fuse objective drawing from life, a new part of her practice, with the instantly recognisable, imaginative works she is known for. The focus of the exhibition is on the female figure in private and intimate spaces, expanding on themes Cooper has explored throughout her forty-year career, those of universal female experience, primarily fertility, sexuality and motherhood.
The works depict woman engaged in intimate and sometimes simple acts, including brushing or washing hair or applying make-up. Through these works, Cooper investigates the rhythms and rituals of ‘getting ready’. Other paintings celebrate female friendship, sisterhood and sense of self. All of the subjects appear confident, gazing stridently out at the viewer or at their own figures in the multitude of mirrors that populate the paintings.
Although not strictly representational, this latest body of work comes after an intensive year of drawing from life, a marked change in the artist’s process, after a lifetime of working directly from imagination. Cooper has skilfully blended this new part of her practise with her characteristic use of graphic, decisive line, flattened space and bold colour palette.
Giles Huxley-Parlour, gallery director, says: ‘As one of the country’s most influential female painters, Cooper has been a force in the British art world for many years and I am very pleased to announce our first exhibition together. In these joyous, strongly graphic pictures is encased the spirit of an artist determined to work at the highest levels of artistic dexterity, but also to produce work that speaks to us all of the universal human experience that she so voraciously absorbs. It is a powerful and compelling combination.’