Born: 10 June 1953
Elected: 24 May 2001
Engravers, Printmakers and Draughtsmen
Eileen Cooper studied at Goldsmiths College, London (1971 to 1974) and the Royal College of Art, London (1974 to 1977). For many years she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College (where she was made a Fellow in 2006) and City & Guilds of London Art School, before becoming Head of Printmaking at the Royal Academy Schools, where in 2011 she was the first woman to be elected Keeper.
Well known as a printmaker and painter, her stylised work is rooted in a figurative tradition and characterised by the use of bold linearity and formal composition. Her images are imbued with playful narratives and her protagonists are often surrounded by artefacts and imagery that testifies to the tension between quotidian and romantic concerns.
Her first solo exhibition was held in 1979 at the Air Gallery, with subsequent shows throughout the UK, including Blond Fine Art, London (1982, 1983 and 1985), Artspace Gallery, Aberdeen (1985), Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (1986) and Artsite Gallery, Bath (1987). Since 1988, regular exhibitions of her work have been held at Benjamin Rhodes Gallery and at Art First, London.
She has also participated in many group exhibitions, including New Contemporaries (1974, 1976), Hayward Annual (1982), John Moores XV (1986) and New British Painting, held at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, in the United States.
Lots of people's lives are thrown together in my pictures, but there is also a strong sense of separateness. I find it fascinating that, in the busy lives that everyone leads, people have a sense of their own time, their own moments of reverie.
Eileen Cooper RA - Selected CV
Recent Solo Exhibitions
2011 Art First, London
2010 Sir Hugh Casson Room, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2009 Art First, London
Brook Gallery, Budleigh Salterton, Devon
2008 Art First Projects, London
Clifford Chance, London and The Cornerstone Gallery, Liverpool Hope University
2007 Art First, London
2006 Art First Projects, London
2005 Art First, London
2004 Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow
Arts Council of Great Britain
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
British Museum Society
Contemporary Arts Society
Imperial College London
Manchester City Art Galleries
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Walpole Library, Yale University, USA
Selected Commissions and Awards
2008/9 Artist in residence, Lewisham College
1999 Cover and illustrations for Carol Ann Duffy’s children’s poetry book, Midnight Meeting
Arts & Humanities Research Board, Award for Ceramic work
1998/9 Artist in residence, Dulwich Picture Gallery
1994 Inside Art, Documentary for Channel 4 Television
1993 The Art, TV Broadcast, BBC Education