Punch and Judy (set of four)

by PJ Crook


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 4.0 x 3.5 in./ 10.2 x 8.9 cm each
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Gouache


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    Catalogue No: 4954 Categories: ,

    PJ Crook’s world is crowded with people, creatures and things that together live in a world of benevolent otherness. Refusing to be cut off by their frames, the pictures crawl out into three dimensionality. A world of both muted tints and startlingly vivid colours, the paint adheres to and settles in on the canvas rather than just sitting upon it. But the white ground is never entirely subdued, and it brings brilliance and energy to the paintings.

    Acquired directly from the artist

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    Crook was born in Cheltenham in 1945, where she still lives and works. Known for her paintings of crowds and people, Crook is prolific. PJ’s work is held in some of the world’s most prominent public and private collections and is considered in the highest echelons of British contemporary art.

    PJ Crook is, of course, an internationally admired painter but also very much a Gloucestershire artist. She has a local presence that forms an important element in the daily life of Cheltenham and its surroundings. In 2016, her paintings were to be seen in Gloucester Museum and Art Gallery where they held a wonderfully creative dialogue with the Museum’s holdings. Her involvement with Star College and the Friends of the Wilson contributes significantly to the well-being of local communities. She has frequently acknowledged the long and important tradition of art education within what is now the University of Gloucestershire, and this connection has prompted her, with astonishing generosity, to donate three large paintings to the University. Students now enter the communal building on the Pittville site, built out of the old Art College premises, past the joyful but somehow sombre crowds depicted in ‘Bathers’ and ‘Walking the Dog’. On their way to the bar they encounter ‘Leonardo’ with its witty play on the characteristics of the digital age.


    Crook is a Patron of the National Star College Cheltenham; a Patron of Linc; a Trustee and director of ACS (the Artists’ Collecting Society); Trustee of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Trust; Patron of Cheltenham Open Studios; a Gloucestershire Ambassador; President of the Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum; member of the Royal West of England Academy; Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. She is a member of the Chelsea Arts Club and the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire. PJ Crook has an honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Gloucestershire and is an honorary vice President of Gloucestershire College. Crook was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to art.


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