Richard COOK

Richard V F COOK

Cook was born in Cheltenham and trained in London at St Martin's School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He came first to Cornwall to stay permanently in 1985. With his first wife he had one son, Theo.

His second wife was the late artist Dr Partou ZIA, with whom he found great contentment and inspiration, and their artistic partnership proved equally creative to their work. Richard Cook's work has been exhibited in Germany and New York and commissioned internationally for public buildings.  His paintings are generally quite large in scale, and painted with his fingers rather than brushes (he does have one brush!). His claim is that he works very quickly, after long spells of contemplation about the images he intends to produce, and the feel of the paint is part of the intensity given to the piece. His home studio, once seen, is never forgotten, so thickly caked, cave-like, with paint are the floors and walls.

Though he lives and works in Newlyn, he exhibits widely in solo and mixed and group shows, increasingly in London with Art First, Cork Street, where both he and Partou have consistently shown work (

Latterly, Cook's large paintings, heavily freighted with paint, but lighter in tone and character than previously, were on show at The Exchange Gallery in Penzance. (2010)






works and access

Arts Council; British Museum; Manchester City Art Gallery


1987: Looking West, Paintings inspired by Cornwall, RCA and NAG (Touring)

1988: Art Share Exhibition, NAG (to support NAG educational activity)

1989: A Century of Art in Cornwall, 1889-1989, Truro

1992: Artists from Cornwall, RWE, Bristol

2001: Solo, Tate St Ives

2006: Lemon Street Gallery, Truro, Cornwall

2007: Selected for Art Now Cornwall Exhibition, Tate St Ives 3 Feb-13 May

2008: Iridescence, solo, Art First, London

2009: Solo and mixed shows, Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives

2010: 'Meetings of Dreams', Paintings by Partou Zia and Richard Cook, 3 Oct-14 Nov, Wills Lane Gallery

2010:  'Under the Summer' Solo, The Exchange, Penzance

2012: 'Effortless Brushstrokes', Falmouth Art Gallery 11 Feb - 14 Apr

2012: 'With Closed Eyes' (solo), Kestle Barton 1-30 Sept

Open Studios Cornwall 2015; 2016; 2017

2019: In Thy Wild Garb, The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8HQ (18 May-22 June)

2021: Primavera, Livingstone St Ives (1 Mar-4 May)

2024: Truro School Art Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro (30 Jan-18 May)


NSA 1995 list; resigned


Art First Contemporary Art (2008) Iridescence (fully illustrated catalogue)

RWE Artists from Cornwall Exh Cat (1992) Royal West of England Academy publication

Brittain, Sarah and Cook, Simon (2001) Behind the Canvas, 40 Artists working in West Cornwall;

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery