James Pringle Cook | The Painted Image: Artist Reception: February 6, 6:30-9pm

3 - 15 February 2020 Scottsdale

Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present The Painted Image, a new exhibition for James Pringle Cook.


Please join us Thursday, February 6th during the Gold Palette ArtWalk, for an Artist Reception from 6:30-9pm. The artist will be in attendance.


Long cycles of looking and painting have shaped James Pringle Cook’s practice to be as much about the what as the how. His ongoing series of water reflections channel not only his observations of water-borne effects while fishing but also his experience of plowing paint into a semblance of nature in his studio. “The water reflections are complicated because they involve my learning and my understanding of the medium of paint and how it informs the image I am working with,” the artist says. “It’s not a photorealistic rendition of the subject. It’s about what I see, but also about how I paint the thing. It’s a painterly rendition of an image.” Hence the title of his new exhibition at Altamira Fine Art: The Painted Image.


Blurring the distinction between sculpture and painting, Cook deploys a variety of devices, from palette knives to plaster tools, to achieve his desired effects. Working quickly from memory, he trusts that his personal vision and technical skills will arrive at an epiphany. “What I am really after is when there is this flash under my hand of nature, when I see the thing that I am painting come alive,” he says. “That moment is the most important to me—it can inform the whole painting.”


This attunement to the painting as a whole stems from his MFA days. During a graduate studio, his painting professor asked him, “What’s your favorite part of this painting?” Once identified, the professor took his palette knife and scraped off that part. “‘Paint the whole painting,’” the professor instructed the stunned student. “‘Don’t paint to your affection.’” This counsel—based on Renaissance pedagogy—continues to guide Cook and his panoptic approach to painting. He avoids fussing and preciousness, striving for a comprehensive view of a scene coalesced in textured drama. The flash felt: “If I’m trying to accomplish that moment when a series of marks just pop, then that’s what I hope my viewer sees—when the painting comes to life.”


Pre-sales available.


For pricing and details, contact az@altamiraart.com/ 480-949-1256.



Artist Biography

James Pringle Cook was born in 1949 in Topeka, Kansas. He received his M.F.A. from Wichita State University in 1972. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.


Cook’s paintings are in the best tradition of American landscape painting. He is an artist absorbed with the process of painting. He paints quickly and creates richly colored, highly textured surfaces. While his work is reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionists, it differs from them in that it projects a recognizable reality, dictated by his personal vision and technical skills. His paintings are bold and monumental in scope. Whether he depicts the ripples upon the surface of still pools in mountain streams or the color studies of a stormy sky, his use of color and contrasting textures and techniques invite the viewer into the scene. 


“My work is more choreographed than planned because there is a sequence of marks that interact to portray the subject. When I pick up a brush or a trowel and lay down a line, the tool plows up paint and changes the mixture of color. I have to choreograph that interaction between one layer of detail and another. It always takes me somewhere I don’t expect.” – James Pringle Cook