Barry Cottrell Biography

Bristol, England, 1953

English Master engraver Barry Cottrell is a virtuoso exponent of the art of line engraving. He works exclusively with a burin on copper, producing images as 'poetry of the driven line.'

He graduated from Oxford University with an M.A. in psychology and philosophy. He then trained at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford, where he was awarded the Ruskin Drawing Prize.

His work ranges from the detailed and descriptive to the more abstract and free-flowing. The animal form has been one of his favourite subjects, including his Twelve Animals of the Chinese Year, which were exhibited in his first solo show at Greys Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1986.

More recently, his engravings have depicted strange, dramatic figures and emblematic animals from the realms of dream, myth, literature and symbol.

In the artist?s own words: ?Engraving is one of the most ancient of the arts, capable of both great descriptive beauty and also expressive power. As long as 30,000 years ago, our ice-age ancestors were using sharpened flint burins and bone scrapers to incise the marks and lines of their celebrated animal images into the cave walls of southern France and northern Spain. Like the timeless vitality which animates the art of our ice-age ancestors, it is the expression of 'life in the line' which-for me-is the purpose of engraving?

RECENT SOLO EXHIBITIONS - 2000 Intimate But Not Extinct, Mary Ogilvie Gallery, Oxford - 2003 Life In The Line, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

RECENT GROUP EXHIBITIONS - 2003 National Print Exhibition, The Mall Galleries, London

16th International Biennial of Humour & Satire in the Arts, Gabrovo, Bulgaria - 4th International Graphic Triennial, Bitola, Macedonia - 2003 6th Triennale Mondiale d'Estampes Petit Format, Chamalieres, France - 2004 Lessedra 3rd World Art Print Annual, Sofia, Bulgaria - 2005 Originals 05: The Contemporary Printmaking Show, The Mall Galleries, London

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS - Calcografia Nacional, Madrid - British Museum, London - Ashmolean Museum, Oxford - Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - Hermitage, St. Petersburg - Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich - National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute,Washington D.C.


In the summer of 2001, his article, Life In The Line: Where an etching is not to be confused with an engraving, was published in the journal Printmaking Today.