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New Beirut gallery opens with Eileen Cooper exhibition
Eileen Cooper, Blessing, 2017, pastel and charcoal, 76.5 x 113cm, courtesy the artist.


BEIRUT.- Beirut-based Letitia Gallery is presenting its inaugural exhibition, a series of new and existing canvases and print works by British contemporary artist Eileen Cooper OBE RA. Under the Same Moon will be on show at the gallery, which is dedicated to facilitating discourse around culture in the Middle East, until 1 April.

Many of the new works in the exhibition have been directly inspired by time the artist has spent in Lebanon: her perceptions of the country’s depth of cultural heritage and rich natural beauty and of Beirut’s position as a safe harbour. Her canvases offer an exploration of Lebanese myths amidst a landscape bathed in the diffused light of the warm, visceral Middle Eastern sun. These new works sit in conversation with a selection of Cooper’s existing works that showcase her legacy as a magic realist artist exploring the transformative nature of a single moment. Her work comes from an unapologetically female perspective, resulting in work that is simultaneously bold and tender.

Eileen Cooper, artist, said: I feel very lucky to have met wonderful people who gave me the unexpected opportunity to visit Beirut. After a short but intense trip, I knew I wanted to make a group of paintings as a response to this experience. I was left with an overwhelming sense of the history and beauty of Lebanon. In particular the extraordinary landscape, the magnificent Cedars and ancient mythology, this seemed like a great place to start. I’m always looking for new subjects, new inspirations.

Annie Vartivarian, the gallery’s founder comments: We are delighted to be welcoming Eileen Cooper to take part in our inaugural exhibition. With the opening of this new space we aim to widen Beirut’s already burgeoning art scene to include critically acclaimed international artists such as Cooper and later Ahmed Badry, Alejandro Ospina and Nathaniel Rackowe.

Eileen Cooper
b. 1953 in Glossop, Derbyshire, UK, Eileen Cooper lives and works in London, UK.

From 1971 to 1974, Cooper attended Goldsmiths College and later went on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in 1977. During the 1980s, she quickly became established and exhibited widely. Cooper became Royal Academician in 2000 and, in 2010, was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy, becoming the first woman in this role since the Academy was founded in 1768.

Alongside developing her practice as an artist, Cooper has taught part-time as a visiting artist and educator in numerous institutions including St Martins School of Art, Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools.

She has held solo exhibitions in The Fine Art Society, London, UK (2017); Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK (2016); Galerie Miro, Prague, Czech Republic (2016); Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2015); Art First Gallery, London, UK (2013, 2010, 2009, 2007); Art First Projects, New York, US (2003, 2002); and Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK (2000).

She has participated in group exhibitions including The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, UK (2017); Drawn Together: Artist as Selector, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, UK (2014); Encounter, The Royal Academy in the Middle East, Doha, Qatar (2013) and The Royal Academy in Asia, Singapore (2012); and The Outsider: British Figuration Now, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy (2001).





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