My work derives sustenance from the placement of culture within nature, as with the architecture at Insel Hombroich, as with the constantly changing active, unplanned energy moving through cities. During the past several years I have begun paintings with that attitude.
Cora Cohen on her project at Insel Hombroich, Neuss
Cora Cohen’s work draws from contemporary urban and philosophical sources. Her current paintings, altered x-rays, and drawings are based on seemingly contradictory ways of seeing and making. As acts of erasure follow figuration, discernible imagery gives way to uncertainty, waywardness, and displacement.
Cohen’s first major solo exhibition was held at the Everson Museum of Art in 1974. In the 1990s, she began using photography to record slices of life in urban environments and began working on exposed x-ray films. She became increasingly interested in the notion of painting informed by a world outside of the self-reflexive concerns of modernism and postmodernism and during this period made paintings that affirmed the medium’s capacity to extend beyond a rectilinear format. A traveling exhibition, Cora Cohen: paintings and altered x-rays 1983-1996, and additional solo and group exhibitions, brought her critical recognition in the United States and Europe. Altered x-rays, a continually evolving project (begun in the early nineties) of works on exposed x-ray film, were exhibited in their first solo exhibition at the Field Institute Hombroich, Neuss in June 2011. In 2012, Cohen’s 2008 painting Curtain, received a Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, when shown in Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts 2012.
Cohen’s works have been written about extensively in various publications including The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, Art News, Flash Art, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, New York Magazine, ArtNet Magazine, openpr.de, and on artcritical.com. Cohen’s work is in the permanent collection of many institutions including: the Swedish State Arts Council, Stockholm; The Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch Collection, Berlin; the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; The William and Uytendale Scott Memorial Study Collection of Works by Women of The Bryn Mawr College Art and Archaeology Collection, Bryn Mawr; Yale University, New Haven; and the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase.
Born in Manhattan in 1943, Cora Cohen studied at Bennington College (B. A. 1964, M. A. 1972) with Paul Feeley and Lawrence Alloway. She has participated in symposia and lectured at various institutions including the New York Studio School, Maryland Institute College of Art, Columbia University’s School of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Medicine Hat College, and Bennington College.
Cohen is the recipient of a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship Award. Her previous honors include grants from the NEA (1987), the New York Foundation for the Arts (1989), the Gottlieb Foundation (1990, 2006), The Pollock/Krasner Foundation Award (1998), a Yaddo Residency (1982), The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program Residency (2008-2009), and The Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency (2009). Her current studio is in Long Island City, New York.