Eileen Cooper RA

Born in Derbyshire, Eileen Cooper RA studied at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1977. During the subsequent decades, she became regarded as one of the central figures in British figurative painting and printmaking. An experienced teacher, before being appointed the first female Keeper of the Royal Academy, Cooper taught at both the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins.

Line is of tremendous importance to Cooper. Her subjects are articulated in such a way as to give them the weightlessness of dancers while maintaining, at the same time, a statue-like monumentality. Some critics label her as a magical realist, seeing her works as variations on a reality slightly removed from our own. You can see for yourself: Cooper has a number of works in the Summer Exhibition, not only paintings and drawings but also two bronze sculptures, a medium with which she has recently been experimenting.

Demonstrating a broad range of artistic interests from digital prints to figurative sculpture, the artist gives her view on the Summer Exhibition's most memorable pieces.