Drawing Biennial 2015

Exhibition: 5 March – 30 April · Auction: 16 April 10am – 30 April 9pm


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Marcus Cope

Pedestal (Mirror-Black)

Year 2015
Medium Oil on paper
Dimensions 30 x 21.9 cm
Bidding Open Thu 16 April, 2015 at 10:00am
Bidding Ended Thu 30 April, 2015 at 9:00pm

Marcus Cope:

I was born in Bath, not in a bath, in a bed I suspect. That was in the 1980's but of course I don't remember that, my mum Frances was there. My studio is at the Galleria in Peckham, it's an Acme studio on Pennack Road, just by Burgess Park. I passed all my GCSE's which I studied for at John of Gaunt School in Trowbridge. I got a grade C in Art and Design. I continued at the same school for my A-levels - of which I did two, Art & Design and Design & Technology. I got a B for Art and E for the latter. I went on to do my Art Foundation at Bath College having been rejected from Trowbridge College. That was very good fortune on my part, an excellent education in drawing, and expanding thoughts through drawing etc taught by David Cobb and David Hyde. I think I got a Merit for that. I did my undergrad degree at Coventry University, specialising for the most part in painting. My degree show was photoreal paintings of public toilets and some nice pictures of flowers. I was robbed and only got an Upper Second Class Honours degree. I did further post graduate education in the mid noughties at art school in London, although that was slightly less what I consider an education. I'm not sure how the exploration of ideas may mainifest itself. There are things I'm interested in, memories that won't go away for example, that I put into the pictures. At the moment I'm mostly working on lots of drawings (and a few smallish paintings) that depict artists studios, and gallery scenes, but also there are a couple that are based on photographs that I've taken of things/buildings/signage/banana peels/etc that have appealed to me for some reason. There is a narrative to each picture, or else it'll be more like a statement, with text and image together. This work is invented -space and narrative- in a way, sometimes the spaces aren't real, but each image is directed by personal experience, much of which is from time spent in Cyprus. Career highlights? I think the paintings I'm working on now are the highlight of my career as an artist, but I guess that's always how one feels. They are very calm, considered pictures. I think they owe a debt to Pieter de Hooch but that isn't overly present. I'm enjoying playing games with objects, and symbolism within them, and using a very limitted palette of mostly reds, blacks and whites. Those colours of course are very prevalant and iconic, in politics (Nazi party), art (painters favourite Philip Guston), products (from Coca-Cola to Marlboro cigarettes) to popular culture (The White Stripes).
I have stayed at the Cyprus College of art many times over the past decade or so, to make drawings and paintings and enjoy the climate, the sea, the freedom, the food, the calm and the company.
My most recent solo exhibition was a show of drawings titled 'Another Man's Patter' and was at Pluspace in Coventry. That closed just over a week ago. I had another solo show this year at studio1.1 in London, titled 'Made in Lempa'. The show was all the 48 drawings I had made in Lempa, Cyprus during a month I spent there in the spring of this year. Last October I had a show at Neue Froth Kunsthalle in Brighton called 'My First New York Show, Looked Good on Paper'. That show was of work that was very personal, and included a self portrait of me with a viral disease. It was also a show of all drawings. The best group show I was in this year was 'Things you don't do/Things you do do' at Bath School of Art and Design Gallery. It was a proper painting show. No bullshit. I'm represented (not my opinions, but my pictures) by Alex's gallery Neue Froth Kunsthalle in Brighton and I exhibit regularly at studio1.1.

See Marcus Cope's profile in our Directory