Thursday, March 8, 2012

George Tooker

George Tooker was born to 1920 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Long Island Belport. The path of his life began becoming evident from the age of seven when he began to take painting lessons with Malcolm Fraser, a family friend. He started high school in Belport, but the parents were not satisfied with the quality of school and be moved to a rigorous academic school in Antover, an area north of Massachusetts.

In the area of Antover, Tooker distinguish the social inequalities,having high rates of unemployment were coming in contrast to the comfortable lifestyle of the children of the economic elite who attended the academy. The school has developed a strong antipathy towards the courses were mainly financial and administrative direction and rigorous way in education, which put the students unable to express their feelings. For this reason, the time spent in the school's art workshop, by drawing landscapes in aquarelles.

Tooker graduated in 1938 and he went to study at Harvard, where he specialized in English literature, the only academic subject of interest. At the same time, was visiting the museum for countless hours observing and studying art, the Renaissance and pre-Rafaelikous paintngs. But his favorite hobby was to paint urban and rural landscapes of cities nearby Boston. During that period he became involved in various radical political organizations but abandoned quickly because considered them to be dogmatic and extremely boring. However, this was the period that made him to realize that the prospect of art could be used as a tool for social justice. On graduating from Harvard in 1942, enlisted in the Marine Corps but was fired soon because of a serious stomach problem.

In 1943 was the year that realized his dream and became a student at the School of Fine Arts in New York. There he met the painter and later his friend, Paul Cadmus, who encouraged him to work with the technique of egg tempera. Fascinated by the symmetry and geometric designs, Cooper worked a slow pace by drawing about two paintings a year, spending long time looking for original ideas for his themes.

In most his paintings Cooper purposely attaches loneliness and alienation, people with heroes of social reality. Reflected in their faces haunting expressions shadowed features, emphasizing the draining of their life. However, there are occasional glimpses with projects full of light and life.

Recognition of his talent came in the beginning of the '50s, when the Whitney Museum purchased the best-known his work entitled «The Subway». From 1951 onwards, he made solo exhibitions, especially in New York, while in 1965 and returned three years at the School of Fine Arts, this time as a teacher.
George Cooper spent much of his life between Vermont and Malaga, along with his friend and collaborator, William Christopher. Leave his last breath on March 28, 2011.



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