Eileen Cooper RA (b. 1953)
RA Collection: Art
The two small linocuts Peace and Search, in both of which a single figure fills the narrow sheet of paper, were both exhibited in Cooper’s exhibition 'Passions: New Work on Paper' (Art First, London and New York, 2001). The exhibition was held to celebrate Cooper’s election as an Academician that year, and so it is fitting that two of the prints exhibited were submitted as the artist’s Diploma Work. The two linocuts are printed on fine Japanese paper in editions of ten, and are among several linocuts in small editions that Cooper made in 2001. The artist has said that linocuts and woodcuts, rather than more complex printing processes such as etching, are particularly important to her ‘because drawing underlies everything I do. With those, you are just drawing directly in the block with a tool’. Amongst the precedents for her linocuts Cooper has recognized Japanese printmaking, German Expressionism and Gauguin.
The female figure is ubiquitous in Cooper’s work, both as a visual projection of Cooper herself and as a more universal representative of the self. The habitual nudity of this figure emphasises this universality, leaving it unencumbered by clothing. While not explicitly identified as a pair, Peace and Search are certainly complimentary, depicting the essence of these two opposing states of mind.
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