We'll be adding all kinds of news and notes to this page. If you're looking for something specific, such as class or workshop information, try the Index or Blog Archive in the left margin.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Peter Cox (1942 - 2017) - In Memoriam

Peter Cox teaching at Art Students League
(photo from Workshop magazine Spring 2007)

Peter Cox has died.
The teacher who most impacted my art and my life, who altered the very way I see the world.

As an artist he was extraordinary in his approach and in the aesthetic he pursued. He may have not been as famous as other artists, but those who know of his art know him to be great.

"Study for Vespers" by Peter Cox
48 x 28, oil on panel, 2009
In 1989, while I was a student at National Academy of Design in NYC, a teacher urged me to go to a Peter Cox one man show that had just opened. That show blew me away. It was painting that I had never seen before. Real depth, but more-- the figures weren't just realistic, they seemed alive. I remember fighting back tears because of the beauty before me and then realizing those tears were because I knew I'd never be that good. I stayed at the gallery for several hours just looking and looking and then my despair turned into something else, a resolve to learn how to paint LIKE THIS, to paint with POWER and INTENSITY. I saw things at that exhibition that made an impact on me that has never diminished. I went back to that teacher and told him about my reactions to the show and he said, "You have to study with Peter. You think like him and you approach things like him."

As soon as finances allowed I went to Peter’s class at Art Students League and it was an immediate connection. He changed my art; he taught me how to think about things in a different way and to see, really see, color. HE CHANGED MY LIFE. Other teacher's classes all paled in comparison.

As I was growing professionally, I spent 5 years going back and forth from Atlanta to New York for Peter’s classes. My skills and understanding of the visual language grew until my confidence and busy schedule caused a transition that resulted in my discontinuing extended visits to NYC. After a decade and more of professional work and not going to class, I resolved to go back to see him in 2006 via his workshops at Art Students League. His tremendous artistic evolution was on display and there we were again - Peter teaching and me soaking it up like a sponge twice a year for almost a decade more.

My class notes from those times are precious to me, now more than ever. A single phrase from him could fling open doors in my mind and clarify the mysteries. I had hoped he would write and publish a book in his lifetime. Some vehicle to preserve his massive artistic knowledge, his philosophy, his approach.

But Peter has died.

And I cannot express in words the depth of my grief.

Charles Young Walls
Atlanta GA | September 8, 2017


"Couple" by Peter Cox
28.5 x 32, charcoal, pastel, graphite on bristol, 2000

For more information about Peter Cox please visit:

Peter Cox website

The Art Spirit Gallery's website