The Fine Art Society is pleased to present Eileen Cooper’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Entitled Till the Morning Comes, the show will feature new paintings and a series of drawings inspired by English National Ballet’s recent production of Giselle, choreographed by Akram Khan.
Throughout her career, Eileen Cooper’s bold and dynamic paintings have presented a complex, somewhat dream-like vision of the world. Her images of women, couples, families and animals, are filled with a sense of energy and movement. She often shows her subjects engaged in creative work, performance and dance through richly suggested environments. She has an abiding interest in female identity and in the notions of creativity, love, sexuality and human relationships.
When the idea arose for Eileen Cooper to collaborate with English National Ballet to create a series of works based on Akram Khan’s Giselle, it seemed a natural fit with her own artistic vision. A much-loved repertoire piece for all major ballet companies, Giselle is a tragic story about love, betrayal, revenge and forgiveness, featuring a strong and ferocious female protagonist. Khan’s innovative choreography, which combines Indian kathak and contemporary dance styles with traditional ballet vocabulary, produces dramatic, contorted, yet strangely beautiful shapes. Cooper studied these forms and movements over the course of several months, both while attending rehearsals for Giselle and in her studio with English National Ballet dancer, Madison Keesler, acting as her model.
The resulting paintings capture the power and energy of Khan’s choreography, while remaining firmly situated within Cooper’s own visual language. Retaining her signature style and powerful figures, Cooper has incorporated a greater degree of movement and a sombre colour palette that references Tim Yip’s costume and set designs.
Eileen Cooper was born in 1953 the Peak District, UK. She studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, and later at the Royal College of Art, London.
She had solo exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Rabley Drawing Centre, Wiltshire and Castlefield Art Gallery, Manchester. In 2000, Dulwich Picture Gallery hosted ‘Raw Material’, a major exhibition of Cooper’s paintings and drawings based on a two-year residency during which she worked with their historic collection. Cooper’s paintings, prints and drawings have also been included in numerous national and international group exhibitions, most notably at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; Queens Gallery, Buckhingham Palace, London; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore; Barbican Centre, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.
Eileen Cooper’s work is in the collections of the Arts Council; British Museum, London; Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Royal Collections; Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Lewis Walpole Gallery, Yale University, Connecticut, among others.
She has taught at several institutions including Central St. Martins, the Royal College of Art, and the Royal Academy. Cooper was elected a Royal Academician in 2000 and in 2010 she became the first woman to be elected as Keeper of the Royal Academy since its inception in 1768. Earlier this year the RA announced her as the coordinator for the 249th edition of their Summer Exhibition, which will run from 13th June to 20th August 2017.