The work of Christopher Cook evolves into pictorial image largely by scraping back from a surface coated in graphite, pure carbon. If painting is generally considered as positive expression using a brush, his work is radical both in method and intent.

The silver-black of the graphite is reminiscent of monochrome photography. His graphite works are, however, rarely produced with direct reference to photographic sources, and his work thus differs from images of the 80's and 90's which took photography as major reference. Instead his processes reveal images that involve memory and imagination, images that inscribe themselves deeply into our consciousness. Unlike the traditional brush and ink methods that his work acknowledges, Cook's techniques are highly innovative, and form a certain flow with other contemporary processes such as the chain drawings of Tonico Lemos Auad (Brazil), or the spinning thread works of Zon Ito (Japan).

Just as photography is transforming from fine print as object to a new digital reality, the act of painting continues to adapt, examining shifting realities with alternative strategies. Cook is an artist positioned at the forefront of such a new wave, and this exhibition of recent experimental works at the Yokohama Museum of Art, his first solo exhibition in Japan, allows us to recognize how compelling a vision it is.

Taro Amano
Yokohama Triennial