Dancing Woman with Tree, 2014
Eileen Cooper RA (b.1953, Glossop near Manchester) is a London-based painter, printmaker and sculptor who employs a bold yet linear visual approach to explore playful, romantic and imaginative narratives involving women or couples and often featuring unexpected animals. Steeped in a distinctive expressionism, her highly personal style, executed with passion and tenderness, always reflects stages in her own life that readily associate with archetypal themes and mythologies. Cooper studied fine art at Goldsmith’s College and Royal College of Art, London (1971 – 1977), where she also taught print-making. Cooper is one of the major British figurative artists who emerged in the 1980’s with her first solo exhibition at the Air Gallery in London in 1979. Solo exhibitions include Castlefield Art Gallery, Manchester (1986), Artsite, Bath (1987), Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, London (1988/90/94), and a touring show of graphics (1996 – 97) to Darlington, Harrogate and Scarborough Art Galleries. The 1999 exhibition Second Skin, curated by Art First, also toured nationally. In 2000, Dulwich Picture Gallery, in collaboration with Art First, hosted a major exhibition of Cooper’s paintings and drawings, Raw Material, based on a two-year residency during which she worked with the collection. In 2001, she was elected Royal Academician and exhibits work in the annual Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. In June 2004, Cooper made her first appearance in Scotland with a solo show of paintings, prints and drawings at the Glasgow Print Centre. She was represented by Art First from 1997 until 2013. In October 2011, Eileen Cooper became the first woman to be appointed an Officer of the Royal Academy since its inception in 1768. She took up her post as Keeper, which includes her role as Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools. Eileen Cooper has participated in significant national and international shows on British art including The Image as Catalyst, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1984), Conversations, Arts Council Touring exhibition (1987), The New British Painting, Contemporary Arts Centre, Cincinnati and tour (1988), Picturing People, Arts Council exhibition touring to Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore (1989), The Outsider: British Figuration Now, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (1990), and Innocence and Experience, South Bank Centre and Manchester City Art Gallery touring exhibition to Manchester, Hull, Nottingham and Glasgow City Art Galleries (1992).