JAMES PRINGLE COOK | THE PAINTED IMAGE

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JAMES PRINGLE COOK | THE PAINTED IMAGE

Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present The Painted Image, a new exhibition for James Pringle Cook.

 

Please join us Thursday, February 6th during the Gold Palette ArtWalk, for an Artist Reception from 6:30-9pm. The artist will be in attendance.

 

Long cycles of looking and painting have shaped James Pringle Cook’s practice to be as much about the what as the how. His ongoing series of water reflections channel not only his observations of water-borne effects while fishing but also his experience of plowing paint into a semblance of nature in his studio. “The water reflections are complicated because they involve my learning and my understanding of the medium of paint and how it informs the image I am working with,” the artist says. “It’s not a photorealistic rendition of the subject. It’s about what I see, but also about how I paint the thing. It’s a painterly rendition of an image.” Hence the title of his new exhibition at Altamira Fine Art: The Painted Image.

 

Blurring the distinction between sculpture and painting, Cook deploys a variety of devices, from palette knives to plaster tools, to achieve his desired effects. Working quickly from memory, he trusts that his personal vision and technical skills will arrive at an epiphany. “What I am really after is when there is this flash under my hand of nature, when I see the thing that I am painting come alive,” he says. “That moment is the most important to me—it can inform the whole painting.”

 

This attunement to the painting as a whole stems from his MFA days. During a graduate studio, his painting professor asked him, “What’s your favorite part of this painting?” Once identified, the professor took his palette knife and scraped off that part. “‘Paint the whole painting,’” the professor instructed the stunned student. “‘Don’t paint to your affection.’” This counsel—based on Renaissance pedagogy—continues to guide Cook and his panoptic approach to painting. He avoids fussing and preciousness, striving for a comprehensive view of a scene coalesced in textured drama. The flash felt: “If I’m trying to accomplish that moment when a series of marks just pop, then that’s what I hope my viewer sees—when the painting comes to life.”

Exhibition Work

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