The first exhibition of Coker’s works in over a decade, the show will seek to reassess Coker’s contribution to post-war figurative British art, drawing on the gallery’s long-standing association with Coker during and after his lifetime.
Situating Coker within his contemporary British zeitgeist, Peter Coker: Mind and Matter will also focus on the significance of international artists to Coker’s work, particularly Gustave Courbet and Nicolas de Staël. Undertaking modern day pilgrimages across France, Coker toured the sites favoured by the artists he revered, filtering their influence through the specificity of place. Coker was too talented an artist to mimic, but with acute sensitivity and perception, his vision of the world was constantly altered by the art that touched him. Correspondingly, his mode of depiction was subject to an ever-persistent evolution but with the materiality of paint and the primacy of process always at the heart of his practice. In Coker’s words: “I think when you see exhibitions…you challenge your own thoughts, you refurbish the mind and eye, you are remoulded.”
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue.