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The artist Barrie Cooke celebrates his 80th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and The Lilliput Press have joined forces to produce this beautifully illustrated monograph, with over eighty full-colour plates, a catalogue listing and bibliography. Its publication accompanies a major exhibition of his work at IMMA, Dublin (later touring to the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris), opening in mid-June 2011. Barrie Cooke is one of Ireland's foremost painters to have emerged since the mid-20th century. His richly expressionist, semi-abstract paintings and installations anticipate those of Francis Bacon and Damien Hirst. Cooke's work is strongly influenced by time spent in Malaysia, Borneo and New Zealand, and brings an ecological sensibility to bear on his natural surroundings - to water, woodlands, mountains and sky. He has spent a lifetime exploring the nexus between nature, spirituality and eroticism, seeking inspiration in the repulsive and the sublime. Spanning the career of this major contemporary artist, Barrie Cooke documents and celebrates his oeuvre, and is complemented by essays from Seamus Heaney, Brian Dillon and Karen Sweeney, and includes an extensive interview with the artist Dorothy Cross.
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