Marcus Cope's first institutional solo show opens at PEER

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Marcus Cope's first institutional solo show opens at PEER
Marcus Cope, In The Blackness of the Night, 2022, oil and glitter on jute, 170 x 300cm.

LONDON.- British artist Marcus Cope (b.UK, 1980) is a painter who takes messy memories and commits them to canvas. For his first institutional solo show, Cope presents his most recent large-scale paintings which reflect significant, often complicated moments in his life. These include surreal encounters while travelling, domestic frustrations, the demands of parenthood, and recollections of the conflict and emotional violence of his own upbringing. Marcus Cope - Silver Linings runs at PEER from 29 April – 11 June 2022 and admission is free.

Cope’s self-reflective paintings reveal specific, sometimes fragmented memories which have had a significant impact on him. His painting Loaf for example relates to the bread he was given by a stranger in Cyprus, which became central to his memory of the situation surrounding a relationship breakdown.

Another work, The Days Before Death, conflates moments Cope shared with his grandmother in hospital shortly before she died, with imagery and symbolism that correlates to earlier memories of her within the context of Cope’s daily life.

The largest work in the show, In The Blackness of the Night (above), depicts Cope’s childhood bedroom and considers the darkness and conflict of his early years. His abusive father, portrayed as a pig, tramples over Cope whose multiplied arms and legs fight to be freed.

In his most recent work, Cope focuses not just on his history and the people he has met but delves deeper into a level of personal speculation that is rarely shared so openly. This ruminative process has released him from the constraint to create believable scenes and more surreal elements have therefore begun to appear in the paintings.

An essay by art writer Martin Herbert will accompany the exhibition.

Marcus Cope was born in Bath in 1980, and now lives and works in London. He received his BA in Fine Art from Coventry University in 2002, and MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, in 2006. Selected solo exhibitions include In the Balance, etc, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (virtual) curated by Andrew Renton, (2020); Moonlighting, studio1.1, London (2018); All The Chairs Are Broken, studio1.1, London (2015); My First New York Show: Looked Good on Paper, Neue Froth Kunsthalle, Brighton (2013). He has shown work in numerous group exhibitions including Drawing Biennial 2021, Drawing Room, London (2021); Vision X, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2019); Pareidolia, Daniel Benjamin Gallery (2019); Nature Morte which toured to Guildhall Art Gallery, London (2017); National Museum, Wrocław, Poland (2017); Bohusläns Museum, Sweden (2016); Hå gamle prestegard, Stavanger, Norway (2015) and was accompanied by the Thames and Hudson publication of the same name.

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