Nigel Cooke, Sunset Bathers, 2018, oil on linen backed with sailcloth, 230 cm × 220 cm × 5 cm (90-9/16" × 86-5/8" × 1-15/16") © Nigel Cooke

Nigel Cooke


b. 1973, Manchester, United Kingdom



Nigel Cooke is known for his evocative paintings which thematically explore intersections of personal memory, art history, and the constructed and natural worlds.

Executed with a broad array of techniques and applications of paint, these atmospheric and often epic compositions weave figures and environments together, reflecting a complex blend of memory, chance, and intuition. The figures that appear in them are not portraits of individuals but hybrids of many—combinations of found photographs, observation, and invention. 

While constructed in spatial layers corresponding to features of landscape—including areas of sky, architecture, geology and plant and animal life—the paintings balance that figuration with abstract techniques and sensibilities that distort the language and the surface of the image. Cooke uses ambiguity and fragmentation as strategies in his work, collapsing the distinction between genres such as abstraction, figuration, landscape, and still life.


Nigel Cooke, The Triumph of Pan (After Poussin), 2018, oil on linen backed with sailcloth, 220 cm × 205 cm × 5 cm (86-5/8" × 80-11/16" × 1-15/16") © Nigel Cooke


Nigel Cooke, Mosquito, 2016, Oil on linen backed with sailcloth, 220 cm × 210 cm (86-5/8" × 82-11/16") © Nigel Cooke