Cockrill is a well-known Modern British painter, whose work defies conventional categorization, and whose teaching career remains impressive.
Cockrill studied at Wrexham School of Art and at the University of Reading, 1960-1964. He went on to lecture at the Faculty of Art at Liverpool Polytechnic, 1967-1980, and was a visiting tutor at many art schools including those of Manchester, Portsmouth, Farnham, Winchester and Nottingham, 1982-1985. During 1985-1988, Cockrill was in London as a visiting tutor to the Royal College of Art and Central School of Art. In 1984, he taught part time for a decade at the Saint Martins School of Art. In 1995, Cockrill was Artist in Residence at GOFA University of New South Wales, Australia, and was visiting tutor at the Royal Academy Schools until 1998. During 2005-2011, he was appointed keeper of the Royal Academy Schools.
Cockrill’s first solo exhibition was held in 1984 at the Edward Totah Gallery in London. Subsequent solo exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum, Dusseldorf in 1985 and at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery both in London and New York, established his name. A first retrospective of his work was hosted by the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in 1995 and a further retrospective was held at the Royal West of England Academy in 1998. Cockrill’s work has also been included in many group exhibitions throughout Europe and in Australia.
Cockrill was a Prize Winner in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition in 1974. Subsequent awards include Arts Council of Great Britain, Flags and other Projects (prize winner), Royal Festival Hall (1977), an Arts Council of Great Britain Major Award, which led to an extended visit to the United States (1977-1978) and the Arts Council Works of Art in Public Spaces (1978-1979). He also received a British Council Award in 1985 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize in 1994.
Cockrill’s painting continues to touch on the lyrical and challenging.
Selected public collections
Arts Council of Great Britain
The British Museum, London
Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Polanco, Mexico
John Moores, Liverpool
Welsh Arts Council
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Ulster Museum, Belfast
LIVINGSTONE, Marco and Nicholas, ALFREY. Maurice Cockrill. Tate Publishing, 2003
KIDSON, Alex and Nicholas, ALFREY. Maurice Cockrill Paintings and Drawings 1974-1994. National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, 1995.