Ed Cohen: In Memory of Memory

Artists: Ed Cohen

Exhibition Information:

April 22, 2021 - May 28, 2021

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Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York, is pleased to announce In Memory of Memory, an exhibition of striking new paintings by Ed Cohen. Inspired by the author Maria Stepanova and her reflections on family history, art, literature, and life in Russia, Cohen has spent the past year in his studio in Santa Barbara, California, experimenting with techniques, reflecting, and finding refuge in the process. While he still uses unconventional ways of painting without brushes, this series adds a greater physicality from the artist with an ongoing interplay between intention and chance. The process of painting allows him to express what he cannot in words; his paintings are beyond words, a reflection of self, an exploration, a moment of who one is at a point in time, and an expression of his state of mind.

The paintings seen In Memory of Memory are more experimental in scale and color palette than previous bodies of work. There is a deep investigation of intuitive choices through the relationships of color, the flow of paint, and the freedom of expression. Poets
and writers have been a constant source of inspiration throughout Cohen’s life. Painting is his form of poetry. The titles of the works are drawn from meaningful thoughts from Stepanova’s In Memory of Memory. Cohen then created a poem from the lines, forming a path for visitors to follow as they view the pieces. As one experiences the exhibition, the paintings and titles become a form of visual poetry in the space. Seeking to connect with viewers on various levels, presenting both a macrocosm and microcosm within each work. As one stands back from a work, the viewer see the larger movement, its language, and connection with others in the exhibition. Up close, they reveal new worlds of color and form.

Cohen has taken solace in creating over the past year and hopes this exhibition becomes a place of retreat. As seen in Stepanova’s book and in life today, there is a profound effect on families during challenging times. When she writes about her grandmother’s life, “We are endlessly vulnerable, desperately interesting, utterly defenseless. Especially after we are gone.”

Ed Cohen uses fluid acrylics to create vibrant and luscious abstract paintings. After carefully selecting the colors and overall form of each piece, Cohen applies the paint freely and instinctively. This captures the natural fluidity and sleek texture unique to this medium. His finished paintings suggest a nuanced combination of control and spontaneity. Cohen’s acrylic marks are surprisingly expressive. The paintings have a sense of energy, emotion and attitude. Though his paintings recall the splattered paint style of the abstract expressionists, they draw on Zen Buddhist philosophy.