Crook, PJ

Bio

P.J.Crook's pictures are immediately recognisable by their painted frames. Her images spill out from the canvas, continuing onto the surrounding wood and enticing the viewer into her world. Painted with a surrealist touch, her scenes have a haunting quality. The figures seem frozen in time, caught at a moment of intrigue and deep in their own thoughts. Crook never plans her pictures and starts with little idea of what will ultimately evolve. The paintings themselves are usually set after dark, lit by a lamp which appears in the picture and casts sharp shadows over the action. Her choice of colours, often pastel blue-greens and pinks, gives a mysterious quality to her work. Often she includes a person who is simply watching, a spectator in her world. With a surrealist's sense of humour, she adds mirrors or 'paintings within paintings'. The pictures have a haunting atmosphere, suggesting conspiracy and ominous events.

'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 Independent'

'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'

Awards

  • 2011 MBE , The Painter
  • 2010 hon Doctor of Art , The Painter
  • 2012 hon Vice President, Gloucestershire College , GloCorama

Exhibitions

  • 2014 PJ Crook; Past, Present & Future - Panter & Hall , London
  • 2012 PJ Crook - Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, Japan
  • 2012 City Art Gallery & Museum, Gloucester
  • 2011 PJ Crook - Galerie Alain Blondel, Paris
  • 2010 PJ Crook - Vaal Galerii, Tallin, Estonia
  • 2006 PJ Crook - A Day at the Races, Art Gallery & Museum, Cheltenham & tour
  • 2001 Mother & Child, Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
  • 1996 Contemporary paintings from the permanent collection, Imperial War Museum, London

Links

Rood, 1986 (acrylic on wood)
Rood, 1986 (acrylic on wood)

PJC104972: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Tango (oil on canvas and wood)
Tango (oil on canvas and wood)

PJC104973: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Sunday (acrylic on canvas and wood)
Sunday (acrylic on canvas and wood)

PJC104976: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Big Fight (oil on canvas on wood)
The Big Fight (oil on canvas on wood)

PJC104977: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Comic Strip (acrylic on canvas)
Comic Strip (acrylic on canvas)

PJC104979: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Big City (acrylic on canvas and wood)
Big City (acrylic on canvas and wood)

PJC104997: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Leonardo (acrylic on canvas and wood)
Leonardo (acrylic on canvas and wood)

PJC108601: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Tryst (acrylic on canvas and wood)
Tryst (acrylic on canvas and wood)

PJC108605: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

St. Nicholas (acrylic on wood)
St. Nicholas (acrylic on wood)

PJC108607: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Food of the Street (acrylic on wood)
Food of the Street (acrylic on wood)

PJC108609: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

5 O'Clock Cowboy (acrylic on wood)
5 O'Clock Cowboy (acrylic on wood)

PJC108611: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Playground (acrylic on canvas)
Playground (acrylic on canvas)

PJC108613: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Monopoly (acrylic on panel)
Monopoly (acrylic on panel)

PJC108615: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Harry's Bar (acrylic on canvas)
Harry's Bar (acrylic on canvas)

PJC108616: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Guardian (acrylic on canvas)
The Guardian (acrylic on canvas)

PJC108619: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Croquet (acrylic on canvas and wood)
Croquet (acrylic on canvas and wood)

PJC108621: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Puppet Master (acrylic on canvas)
The Puppet Master (acrylic on canvas)

PJC108623: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

School Dinners (acrylic on wood)
School Dinners (acrylic on wood)

PJC128797: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Tic Tac (acrylic on canvas)
Tic Tac (acrylic on canvas)

PJC186522: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Japonica (acrylic on panel)
Japonica (acrylic on panel)

PJC186524: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Cowboys and Indians (acrylic on wood)
Cowboys and Indians (acrylic on wood)

PJC186527: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Manifesto (acrylic on panel)
Manifesto (acrylic on panel)

PJC186531: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Marango (acrylic on canvas on wood)
Marango (acrylic on canvas on wood)

PJC186534: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Deadline (acrylic on canvas on wood)
Deadline (acrylic on canvas on wood)

PJC186535: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Big Band (acrylic on canvas on wood)
Big Band (acrylic on canvas on wood)

PJC186537: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Dejeuner, 2003 (acrylic on canvas)
Dejeuner, 2003 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC213865: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Library, 2003 (acrylic on wood)
Library, 2003 (acrylic on wood)

PJC214302: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Kiss, 2003 (acrylic on wood)
The Kiss, 2003 (acrylic on wood)

PJC214305: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Caravans, 2003 (acrylic on wood)
Caravans, 2003 (acrylic on wood)

PJC214308: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Party, 2003 (acrylic on wood)
The Party, 2003 (acrylic on wood)

PJC214314: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Sweetshop, 2005 (acrylic on canvas)
Sweetshop, 2005 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC250086: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Toyota Taxi, 2005 (acrylic on canvas)
Toyota Taxi, 2005 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC250091: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Ark, 2004 (acrylic on canvas)
Ark, 2004 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC254266: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Poem, 2004 (acrylic on canvas & wood)
Poem, 2004 (acrylic on canvas & wood)

PJC254268: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Cafe, 2004 (acrylic on wood)
Cafe, 2004 (acrylic on wood)

PJC254275: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Bet, 2006 (acrylic on wood)
The Bet, 2006 (acrylic on wood)

PJC254277: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Sunday 10th, 2006 (acrylic on canvas)
Sunday 10th, 2006 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC264425: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Bar, 2006 (acrylic on canvas)
The Bar, 2006 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC264427: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

City, 1993 (acrylic on canvas & wood)
City, 1993 (acrylic on canvas & wood)

PJC273070: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Steps, 1981-2007 (acrylic on wood)
Steps, 1981-2007 (acrylic on wood)

PJC273074: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Now and Then, 1997 (oil on wood)
Now and Then, 1997 (oil on wood)

PJC274898: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Secret, 1978 (oil on wood)
The Secret, 1978 (oil on wood)

PJC275373: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Arabian Girl, 2008 (acrylic on wood)
Arabian Girl, 2008 (acrylic on wood)

PJC322823: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Demonstration (acrylic on wood)
The Demonstration (acrylic on wood)

PJC322824: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Evensong, 2008 (acrylic on board)
Evensong, 2008 (acrylic on board)

PJC322825: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Paradise Park, 2008 (acrylic on wood)
Paradise Park, 2008 (acrylic on wood)

PJC322826: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Samedi, 2008 (acrylic on wood)
Samedi, 2008 (acrylic on wood)

PJC322829: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Saturday, 2008 (acrylic on wood)
Saturday, 2008 (acrylic on wood)

PJC322832: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Sea Dog (acrylic on wood)
Sea Dog (acrylic on wood)

PJC330896: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Christmas Guest (acrylic on wood)
The Christmas Guest (acrylic on wood)

PJC330899: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Kiss, 2009 (acrylic on wood)
The Kiss, 2009 (acrylic on wood)

PJC361635: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Flock, 2009 (acrylic on wood)
The Flock, 2009 (acrylic on wood)

PJC361636: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Bonjour, 2009 (acrylic on canvas)
Bonjour, 2009 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC361644: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

UFO, 2009 (acrylic on wood)
UFO, 2009 (acrylic on wood)

PJC361646: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Waiting, 1986 (acrylic on canvas)
Waiting, 1986 (acrylic on canvas)

PJC361648: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Night Game, 2010 (acrylic on wood)
Night Game, 2010 (acrylic on wood)

PJC395903: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Doubla, 2010 (oil on canvas on wood)
Doubla, 2010 (oil on canvas on wood)

PJC395905: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Hustlers, 2010 (oil on wood)
The Hustlers, 2010 (oil on wood)

PJC395909: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Higher Heels, 2010 (oil on wood)
Higher Heels, 2010 (oil on wood)

PJC395911: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Deja Vu, 2009 (acrylic on wood)
Deja Vu, 2009 (acrylic on wood)

PJC395912: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Longer Toes, 2010 (oil on wood)
Longer Toes, 2010 (oil on wood)

PJC395913: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Swimming Pool. 2011 (acrylic on wood)
Swimming Pool. 2011 (acrylic on wood)

PJC400383: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Mermaid, 2010 (acrylic on wood)
Mermaid, 2010 (acrylic on wood)

PJC400384: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Infant (acrylic on wood)
The Infant (acrylic on wood)

AGU433833: © Ahmet Gunestekin / Bridgeman Images

Remember Me, 2011 (acrylic on wood)
Remember Me, 2011 (acrylic on wood)

PJC433834: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Revolution. 2011 (acrylic on wood)
Revolution. 2011 (acrylic on wood)

PJC433837: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Infant, 2011 (acrylic on wood)
The Infant, 2011 (acrylic on wood)

PJC433838: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

The Foundling, 2011 (acrylic on wood)
The Foundling, 2011 (acrylic on wood)

PJC433839: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Liberation (acrylic on canvas & wood)
Liberation (acrylic on canvas & wood)

PJC433841: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Liberty, 2011 (tinted gesso on wood)
Liberty, 2011 (tinted gesso on wood)

PJC466313: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Geisha, 2012 (tinted gesso on wood)
Geisha, 2012 (tinted gesso on wood)

PJC495734: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

Big Wave, 2012 (tinted gesso on wood)
Big Wave, 2012 (tinted gesso on wood)

PJC495736: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

TANGO DANCERS
TANGO DANCERS

PJC808772: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

BADGER AND COWS
BADGER AND COWS

PJC808774: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO
IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

PJC992301: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images

THE APPOINTMENT
THE APPOINTMENT

PJC992303: © P J Crook / Bridgeman Images