Barrie Cooke (1931-2014) Megacerous Hibernicus, 1983, oil on canvas, collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art
The death has taken place of the artist Barrie Cooke. His richly expressionistic paintings were influenced by the nature and mythology of Ireland and extensive travels in Lapland, New Zealand, Borneo and Malaya. Born in Cheshire, England in 1931 he moved to Ireland in 1954. As a teenager he lived in the US and studied Art History at Harvard. He had his first solo exhibition in Dublin in 1955, and received a scholarship to study with Oskar Kokoschka in Salzburg the same year. Cooke represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1963.
Barrie Cooke exhibited widely throughout Europe, the US and New Zealand. Major retrospectives include the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Dublin in 2003, LAC, Perpignan, France in 1995, the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1992 and the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1986. Recent exhibitions include the Irish Musuem of Modern Art, Dublin, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (2011), the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; (2009) and Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo (2002). His work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Ulster Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Holland and in many other public and private collections worldwide.
Since the death in 2012 of Louis le Brocquy Barrie Cooke could rightly have laid claim to the title of the grand old man of Irish art. He died in Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow on March 4.