Peter Godfrey Coker was a revolutionary realist painter with a decorative style. He was as successful at producing landscapes as he was 'kitchen sink' school interiors. He was born on July 27th 1926 in London.
Coker had his first solo show in 1958, which was the year that Modern Art In The United States, a touring show from New York's Museum of Modern Art (Moma) reached the Tate Gallery. The flood of enthusiasm for all things American and abstract submerged the green shoots of a national reputation for Coker.
A number of Peter's last works have been exhibited this year at the Chris Beetles Gallery and the Royal Academy, and some are currently on show at the Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.
Peter returned to painting at the end of his life. The disability that resulted from his heart attacks and strokes extinguished neither his spirit nor his determination to express himself. He remained completely dedicated to his art, practising it whenever possible and, at other times, studying its history, theory and technique.
A glimpse into the first floor studio of his Essex house revealed that he approached his art in a practical, extremely professional way. He developed a thorough knowledge of each skill, and ensured that tools and materials were always at hand and ready for use. This orderliness may seem at odds with his intense visual language; however, its security gave him the freedom to communicate the immediacy, the vitality of many specific terrains, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Mediterranean coast. Peter Coker passed away on December 16th 2004.