Beryl Cook Takes Los Angeles

A Hug From the Art World gallery in New York heads to Los Angeles for a special exhibition of Beryl Cook paintings to be on view from February 26th through March 31st, 2024, at The Maybourne Beverly Hills (225 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, 90210.) This marks only the second exhibition of Cook’s works in the U.S. and coincides with the biggest week of the year in art on the West Coast: Frieze Los Angeles

Cook has long been one of Britain’s most famous artists. The public has always loved her paintings, which makes it surprising that Beryl Cook Takes Los Angeles is only the artist’s second  overseas exhibition. Her work was all too often overlooked by the establishment and critics alike. That is, until her first stateside exhibition, Beryl Cook Takes New York, opened to critical acclaim at A Hug From The Art World in 2022,  receiving a review in the New York Times

The retrospective travels to Tinseltown in partnership with The Maybourne Beverly Hills, distinguished by chic and residential style interiors. The hotel offers five-star service and is a haven for artistic creativity that reflects the  contemporary spirit of its landmark location. 

“Following the success of Cook’s first overseas exhibition at my gallery in New York, I went on a scouting  mission to find a location to bring the show out west,” Adam Cohen, Founder & CEO of A Hug From The Art World, said. “Whilst staying at my favorite art and design hotel in  LA, The Maybourne Beverly Hills, I came up with the idea to bring Beryl’s work to the 90210, where she already has a cult following as a tribute to her legacy. Much to my delight, we were able to time the  exhibition perfectly with the arrival of Frieze LA.”

Beryl Cook Takes Los Angeles brings together over forty paintings, multiple drawings, and archival materials spanning five decades. The exhibition will showcase Cook’s first-ever painting, Hungover, 1962,  as well as Tommy Dancing, 2007/8, her very last. Every single work in the exhibition is on loan from The Beryl Cook Estate run by Beryl’s son, John, and granddaughter, Sophie.  

Beryl Cook Artwork

Cook understood how to capture the nuances of British culture, depicting familiar scenes that lay just beneath the surface in perfect detail. From greasy spoon cafés, to ladies dressed in traditional whites playing bowls on the green, to the cheekiness of the nearly-nudes, she painted these humorous and joyful  moments with laser sharp precision, highlighting the underbelly of Britain’s quirks. 

Arriving by Concorde, she visited the United States, travelling cross-country by train and returning on the Queen Elizabeth 2, exemplifying Cook’s thirst for experience. Planes, trains, and automobiles – she soaked up America  in all its glory, taking visual notes with her brilliantly discerning eye to be thrown later onto her canvases  enthusiastically with whimsical skill and humorous ease. 

About the Artist 

Beryl Cook, OBE (10th September 1926 – 28 May 2008) was a British artist best known for her original and instantly recognizable paintings. Often comical, her works depicted people whom she encountered in everyday life, including people enjoying themselves in pubs, girls shopping or out on a hen night, drag shows, or a family picnicking by the seaside or abroad.

She had no formal training and did not take up painting until her thirties. Cook admired the work of the English artist, Stanley Spencer, his influence evident in her compositions and bold bulky figures. Another great influence was Edward Burra, who painted sleazy cafes, nightclubs, gay bars, sailors, and prostitutes, although, unlike Burra, she did not paint the sinister  aspects of the scenes. 

Upon Beryl’s death in Plymouth, the Peninsula Arts of Plymouth University mounted a major retrospective  in November 2008. Two books devoted to her were published: Beryl Cook 1926- 2008 and The World of  Beryl Cook. In 2010, two of her paintings were used as part of the Rude Britannia exhibition at the Tate Britain.

Beryl Cook’s paintings have been acquired by the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Bristol City  Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth Art Gallery and Durham Museum. Beryl’s work has been bought by private collectors all over the world, including Jackie Collins(Collins collection was later sold at Sotheby’s), Whoopi Goldberg, and Yoko Ono, to name a few.

About The Maybourne Beverly Hills 

Situated within Beverly Hills’ famous Golden Triangle, The Maybourne Beverly Hills is a sophisticated  escape from the hustle and bustle of the famous city on our doorstep; a rare and special place to unwind, right in the heart of Beverly Hills.

The spa is an unparalleled place of serenity and relaxation while on the roof, guests discover apool and restaurant, home to Dante Beverly Hills, bordered by cabanas, and sun-dappled views of the Hollywood Hills. The Terrace restaurant, overlooking the lush Beverly Cañon Gardens, offers cocktails and seasonal California-inspired cuisine, where diners can sit, sip and dine as the world passes by.

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