Born in Chicago in 1961, Zoe Cohen was strongly affected by the classic graphic influences of a mid-century urban environment. Everyday exposure to modern architecture, photography, painting, sculpture and minimalist 1960’s design permanently imprinted her mind. (Her father headed an Ad agency - think Mad Men!)
The heart of Zoe’s abstract painting springs from her lifelong fascination with mid-century modern art and design, Abstract Expressionism and The New York School painters. She continues to study the historic influences which shifted the locus of the international art scene from Nazi occupied Europe to NY in the years just before and after WWII.
In recent years, teaching has become an integral part of her art practice. Zoe’s favorite thing is time spent with family and friends and w/ her dog, Bella, in the studio.
Painting is, for me, a visual/poetic language: a necessary alternative form of communication. Throughout human history mark-making with pigment has had the power to speak to certain fundamental truths where words have failed us.
In the 21st Century we, as humans, live with these raw/harsh realities of everyday life: technological acceleration, endless wars, loss of humanity, extinction, massive greed and the unparalleled destruction of nature.
In spite of these horrors, the enduring beauty of life persists.
A love of materials and the spirit of the present moment guide the work as I follow a painting from the first quick stroke through subsequent transformations. My job is to respond to the marks; raw impulse, bold lines, veiled form and layers bind in unforeseen union.
Themes emerge: light/ dark motion/ stillness chaos/ calm
As a rule, I seek simplicity. A state of resolution arrived at through the act of painting itself. I continue to draw and paint ...... and in the best work I am completely surprised by the images which appear before me.
- zoe cohen