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Cora Cohen was born in New York City. She attended the High School of Music and Art (1957–60) and Bennington College (1960–64), where she studied with Paul Feeley and Lawrence Alloway. At Bennington she was influenced by the work of Frederick Kiesler, a guest lecturer and exhibitor, and Tony Smith, who taught there. Cohen was Artist in Residence in Painting at the University of Pennsylvania from 1969-70. She then returned to Bennington College as a graduate student (1970–1972) where she studied with Richard Haas and met sound artist Liz Phillips who introduced her to new music, in particular that of Pauline Oliveros and Steve Reich. In this work Cohen found reinforcement for using traditional art materials to create decompositional abstractions. 


Cora Cohen lives and works in New York City.  Her work  is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Swedish State Art Council, Stockholm, The Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch Collection, Berlin, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, Yale University, New Haven, and the Widener Library, Cambridge.


Cohen’s first solo exhibition at The Everson Museum of Art in 1974 was initiated by James Harithas. She began exhibiting regularly in New York at the Max Hutchinson Gallery in 1976. Her 1984 exhibition at that gallery garnered critical attention. In The New York Times art critic Michael Brenson wrote, "The works are dense, brooding and yet elated. The turbulence of the paint not only looks but also feels like freedom." Cohen exhibited widely from the late eighties onward, in New York at the Holly Solomon Gallery and Wolff Gallery. In the early nineties she began exhibiting in Europe. From 1993 to 2007 she was represented by Jason McCoy Inc., New York, and selected for the 1993 Libidinal Painting group exhibition curated by Bill Arning, White Columns, New York, New York.She continues to exhibit throughout the United States and Europe.


Cohen has been a Yaddo Foundation Fellow and the recipient of awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the NEA, the New York State Council for the Arts, the Gottlieb Foundation Award, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Space Program, and recently, the Edward F. Albee Foundation.


 a note from d. m. allison : I have always held good absrtactionists in the highest regard. What they do is quite brave, setting out on their adventure like Don Quixote with sword in hand, creating great windmills with which to do battle. The best ones eventually cut their ties with convention and reality and lead us into a world of their own making. We are richer by far if we venture there.

   The works from the 2011 exhibition are second and third generation back and forth collaborations between the TCA studio and the artist. As images were made and photographed in the artist's studio, armatures were created on digital fine art Hammamule water color paper and sent back to the studios in New York or overseas to Cohen while she was working at the  Guest Studio, Raketenstation, Neuss between Düsseldorf and Cologne. From there the works would morph and return again to TCA in Houston where they were photographed ...... and yes sent back home to Cora for another session of improvisation by the artist. It was a long distance jam session.

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