The Corselet

by Beryl Cook

£45,000

Out Of Stock

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 35.4 x 21.5 ins/ 90 x 54.5 cms
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

 

 

Out Of Stock

Catalogue No: 5348 Categories: ,

‘I don’t know how my pictures happen, they just do.  They exist, but for the life of me I can’t explain them’.

Beryl Cook’s paintings encapsulate joy; her  is style totally original, warm and so instantly recognisable that her work became part of the modern day artistic vernacular. Cook possessed that rare gift – the power to uplift. This piece is a prime example, where we see a lady in a corset and heels, amongst a group of suited and booted companions. She exudes a sense of confident nonchalance , resting her hand upon her hip whilst she peers into the distance, past the viewer and beyond.

From the beginning of her career Beryl’s work had a remarkable effect on the British, who immediately took her to their hearts. Her appeal was classless and she rapidly became Britain’s most popular artist. She was a ‘heart and soul’ painter, compelled to paint with a passion.

Provenance

With The Portal Gallery, London;
Private Collection, Canada

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Biography

Beryl Cook (1926-2008) was an English artist best known for her original and instantly recognisable paintings of ordinary British life. Often comical, her works picture people whom she encountered in everyday life, including people enjoying themselves in pubs, girls shopping or out on a hen night, drag queen shows or a family picnicking by the seaside or abroad.

 

Cook was born in 1926 in Surrey, England, one of four sisters. She left school at fourteen and worked in a variety of jobs.  Moving to London in 1943 Beryl became a showgirl in a touring production of ‘The Gypsy Princess’.  She also worked in the fashion industry, which inspired her life-long interest in the way people dress and how they look.

 

In 1946 Cook married her childhood friend John, who was in the Merchant Navy. When he retired, they briefly ran a pub. Their son John was born in 1950, and the following year they left to live in Southern Rhodesia. This move was to prove a turning point for the artist. One day she picked up some paints belonging to her son and started a picture. She enjoyed it so much she could not stop. She painted on any surface she could find, scraps of wood, fire screens and most notably a breadboard, as can be seen from her famous early painting of Bowling Ladies.

 

In 1963 the Cooks returned to England to live in Cornwall where Beryl began to paint in earnest. They moved to Plymouth, where in the summer months they ran a busy theatrical boarding house. Beryl loved Plymouth, a thriving, lively seaside town full of pubs, fishermen and sailors and she and John enjoyed going to their local bars and watching flamboyant drag acts. Beryl would concentrate on painting in the winter months, recreating her personal views of Plymouth in vivid oils on wooden panels.

 

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