Eileen Cooper


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Eileen Cooper

Eileen Cooper was born 1953 in Glossop, in the Derbyshire Peak District. She studied at Goldsmiths College from 1971-1974 and the Royal College of Art 1974-1977, soon after graduating she began to exhibit her work.

During the 1980s Eileen became a major figure, well known and regarded for her strong and passionate figuration. Eileen also taught part time in numerous institutions including St Martins, Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools.

Having exhibited widely in the UK and internationally she became a Royal Academician in 2000 and in 2010 was elected Keeper of the Royal Academy 2011-2017, the first woman in this role since the Academy began in 1768. 

She was awarded OBE for services to Art and Art Education 2016.

Sometimes described as a magic realist, Eileen Cooper brings an unapologetically female perspective to her subject-matter. Her concerns are as relevant and timeless as those of the human spirit itself, encompassing sexuality, motherhood, life and death.

Her richly diverse images, simultaneously bold and tender, reveal a range of feeling that is both deeply engrossing and readily accessible, yet still very much part of contemporary art practice.

Throughout her career Cooper’s work has contained a strong autobiographical element. However, her vision is always more allegorical than anecdotal, her concerns and experiences as relevant and timeless as those of the human spirit itself.