P J Crook MBE RWA
An artist of international renown, Pam Crook was born in Cheltenham in 1945, and studied at Gloucester College of Art and Design. She is often referred to as the ‘Artist of the Crowd’ as her paintings, sometimes on a large scale – paintings of 50 x 70 inches are not unusual – invariably contain people. Much of her work is idiosyncratic, and borders on the surreal, enhanced by her practice of incorporating the frame within the composition.
‘Ever since Hogarth there have been British artists who have reflected on life as it is really lived, but viewed from the grotesque side. In the twentieth century this has taken on an added intensity one might call expressionist in the work of artists like Stanley Spencer, William Roberts and Carel Weight. As in their work so in Crook’s, there is a feeling that something odd lies just beneath the surface: these ordinary people going about their ordinary business are somehow set apart, irradiated by a strange otherworldly light; for all their ordinariness, they are marching to a different drummer. And in fact, despite her almost defiant Britishness, it is not by chance that she has worked so much with French galleries and is so highly valued abroad. The strangeness in her works may also recall a very different order of strangeness, that of Surrealists like the great Belgian Delvaux, master of moonlit mystery. Crook’s paintings have the unexpectedness of real life and the hallucinatory clarity of a dream. The art has excellent connections, but finally it stands on its own feet and confidently possesses its own personal world.’
John Russell Taylor in ‘The Times’
‘Witty, menacing, enigmatic, playing games with the eye and the imagination.’
‘The artist is a virtuoso in the mischievous art of beguiling our perceptions and expectations – her work is a disconcerting meditation on our assumptions of reality.’
Beatrice Comte in ‘Le Figaro’
She is represented by galleries in London, Florida and Paris, as well as here in the Cotswolds, and her work is in major corporate and private collections in many parts of the world, principally in Japan, France, England and the United States.