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Peter Coker RA (1926-2004)


Peter Godfrey Coker, RA (1926-2004)

‘One of the foremost realist painters in England … Coker will be remembered for the refreshing nature of his astringent vision, for his consummate mastery as a draughtsman, painter and etcher, and as a proud and vigorous inheritor of a great artistic tradition.’ (Frances Spalding,
Independent, 20 December 2004)

Peter Coker was born in London on 27 July 1926. He first studied at St Martin’s School of Art (1941-43; 1947-50), and began to exhibit regularly at the Royal Academy from 1950. Though he was a contemporary of John Bratby and Edward Middleditch at the Royal College of Art (1950-54), his work related only briefly to the raw figuration of the Kitchen Sink School. This was signalled by his paintings of a Leytonstone butcher’s shop which were included in his highly successful first solo show (Zwemmer Gallery 1956). His development as a landscape painter originated in his first encounter with the canvases of Gustave Courbet on a trip to Paris (1950).

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