Barrie Cooke (born 1931) is an Irish abstract expressionist painter. He was born in Cheshire, England, and has lived and worked in Ireland since 1954.
Cooke travels widely and his richly expressionist, semi-abstract paintings have been strongly influenced by time spent in such far-flung places as Lapland, New Zealand, Borneo and Malaya. Nature in its infinite variety and irresistible flux is his chosen environment and subject matter. He has also, however, painted a number of nudes, as refracted through what Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney has referred to as his ‘aqueous vision’. He has collaborated with a number of prominent poets including Heaney and the British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, both of whom share his fascination with the elemental. Though primarily a painter he also produced a series of ‘bone boxes’ in perspex during the 1970s.
He is a member of Aosdána, and the Royal Hibernian Academy and has exhibited widely throughout Europe, the US and Canada.