Nigel Cooke ( British, 1973 )
In this impressively scaled and composed painting, Nigel Cooke presents a fantasy-laden tableau of a broken-down, modernist-looking dystopian architecture that houses what may be the last of the thinkers referenced in the title. The curious central figure wields the hardware of a painter and seems to be going about his craft in a desolate world of abjectness and neglect. In this scene, science fiction, comic books, and art history are all rolled into one, creating an ominous yet somehow playful allegory of the “heroic” artist’s solitary studio practice and the often-heralded death of painting.
Gabriel Ritter, DMA Label copy, 2014.