Milestone — Cecil Cooper at 70Sunday, June 19, 2016
The Olympia Gallery in Kingston was the canvas, last Friday, for the unveiling of Milestone — Cecil Cooper at 70, an exhibition featuring the works of renowned Jamaican visual artist Cecil Cooper.
A well-regarded, expressive, realist painter, Cooper is one of the great Jamaican painters who formed part of the broader international black art vernacular who returned to Jamaica — although he will tell you as far as he was concerned he never left — and continued through teaching and practising the tradition of Caribbean mastery in paint.
The vernissage was a three-pronged soirÃ©e celebrating Cooper’s 70th birthday (June 17); the launch of his eponymous exhibition; and a tribute to author/playwright Barbara Gloudon for her contribution to national cultural life.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressed the select crowd of art-world who’s who — many of whom flew in just for the birthday celebrations — and described Cooper as a pioneer in the world of art alongside peers such as Barrington Watson, Gene Pearson and Albert Huie who have paved the way for young and aspiring artists.
On view for one month, the exhibition features a survey of Cooper’s iconic paintings from the last 48 years to works fresh from the studio in 2016.