Schmidt Bingham Gallery
Simple silhouettes: Eggplants, a Hat Form on a Circus Stand, Pork Buns, a Top Hat, isolated from their ordinary surrounds in fields of warm putty-gray, are full of surprising complexities and enigmas.
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Gordon Cook moved to northern California in the early 1950s. Born in Chicago, he was trained as a lithographer and later taught printmaking and drawing at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1969, he married Joan Brown and began to paint. His watercolors and oil paintings were small and idiosyncratic. Sadly, his career was cut short by an untimely death at age 56.
A Retrospective in 1987 at the Oakland Museum revealed Gordon Cook's significance in the Bay Area tradition of figurative art. His intimate realism opens worlds of curiosity, childhood memory and eerie imagination.
Friend and peer Wayne Thiebaud wrote for the Retrospective Catalog:
Gordon focused upon the marvels of extremism. He pushed beyond the ordinary range and depth of thinking and feeling in his opinions, his way of looking, and his work.
Looking at Gordon Cook's works allows us to experience a stubborn belief in responsibility towards lucidity, authenticity, and veracity, and reminds us that art has its own morality. The art world will always miss artists like Gordon Cook. He will not miss the world of art.