Neil Stokoe (1935-2019) was born in County Durham. Following National Service with the RAF, he gained a place at the Royal College of Art in 1959. There, he along with his contemporaries R.B. Kitaj, David Hockney, Pauline Boty, Frank Bowling, Derek Boshier, Peter Philips, Patrick Caulfield and Allen Jones would herald a golden age for the College. The creative force and vitality of these artists would cause a sea change in British Art and its international reputation. It was during this time that Stokoe became friends with Francis Bacon. Stokoe was awarded a Continuation Scholarship to study there until 1964.
Stokoe exhibited at the John Moores, Liverpool in 1963 and 1967. He taught at Wimbledon School of Art from 1963 to 2000 - initially teaching Art History, then painting, and finally the Foundation Course from 1966 until his retirement.
While Bacon's influence has prevailed throughout his career, Stokoe's interest in Velazquez, Rembrandt and Titian have nourished his own continued development as a painter. Stokoe’s paintings often look at the arrival and departure of individuals and the underlying tensions.
Although each work has a strong visceral feel to its action and situation, it is often unclear exactly what is at play. Recent work has addressed the suffering of solitary individuals, often isolated, pensive or pained. He contrasts thick, heavy brush strokes and textured paint, with a more controlled painting style.
Although his work is held in many public and private collections he has remained reluctant through his life to exhibit. The forthcoming exhibition offers a chance to see a group of paintings beginning with his Royal College canvases spanning the first twenty years of his work. Most of these paintings have never been seen by the public before.
Discover all the Neil Stokoe content on Bridgeman Images.
Contact us if you have any queries or would like to use these images.