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Greg Rook Main Profile Image

Greg Rook

Farnham, UK

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Painting • Born in London, UK • Studied at Goldsmiths College, London

We live like this

"... Traditionally, painting has been thought of as a window into another world, only broken through the modernist era when the objecthood of a painting was emphasised. Rook is very much aware of this lineage and has found ways of implying space, and yet, strategically disrupting parts of the surface to remind the viewer of the artifice of his constructs. Thus, metaphorically, the painting’s come across in equal measures as both idealistic and...

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"... Traditionally, painting has been thought of as a window into another world, only broken through the modernist era when the objecthood of a painting was emphasised. Rook is very much aware of this lineage and has found ways of implying space, and yet, strategically disrupting parts of the surface to remind the viewer of the artifice of his constructs. Thus, metaphorically, the painting’s come across in equal measures as both idealistic and realistic. Their instinctive honesty is always undercut by a knowing awareness of the contemporary environment of their making. Just when we start to believe in an image, and its earnest symbolism, Rook’s painting processes bring us back to the ‘here’ and ‘now’ of the room in which we stand and the physicality of paint on canvas. This disruption of surface causes us to slow down our viewing engagement, to look and look again in a search for answers to our own anxieties and beliefs...

... Rook embraces the tradition of metaphorical painting, feeling liberated to explore and quote filmic and art historical reference points through the filter of his geographically specific imagery. He utilises the potent symbolic nature of the source material as a way to open up a conversation into our current anthropological position and beliefs. Sourced from TV and film, it is not difficult to start seeing common ground with the techniques of film narration, and with the cinematographer’s wide screen..."

James Brooks

Sanding back and reworking

Sanding back and reworking

Reapproaching old sketches

Reapproaching old sketches

Greywash and colour wash

Greywash and colour wash

Bourne again...

Bourne again...

Painting as drawing

Painting as drawing

Sketches from a photo shoot

Sketches from a photo shoot

Sketches, prints and portraits

Sketches, prints and portraits

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

My studio is set on the edge of the Bourne woods where Russell Crowe "unleashed Hell" at the start of Gladiator...

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

The wind in the pine trees and a cat eviscerating a small animal across one of my canvases.

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

Oil paint that flows like ink across a matt oil primed surface - like ink on paper but renegotiable.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

Consider that grand project that you would one day like to bring to fruition, and start it now.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

A Guston - perhaps Night Room or Ravine

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

The Greek Islands as imagined by Gerald Durrell and The Big Blue


EXHIBITIONS

SOLO

2016

Off-grid, the stockroom, London, UK

2013

On the Prospect of Establishing a Pantisocracy, Fred, London, UK

2012

Survivors, OMT gallery, London, UK

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WORKS IN COLLECTIONS

The David Roberts Collection

The Devereux Collection

The Lesmes Collection

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PUBLICATIONS


For more information and inquiries about this artist, please contact Artitious by emailing to artist@artitious.com

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