Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe
Between Figuration and Abstraction
The American artist Alfred Cohen (1920-2001) won a fellowship in 1949 on graduation from the Art Institute of Chicago to come to Europe for a year. He never left, studying and living in Paris and Germany before moving to London in 1960. His acclaimed exhibitions of breath-taking panoramas of the Thames, the London Docks and powerful figures based on the Commedia dell’Arte sold out. Film stars, directors and producers collected his pictures. In the mid-1960s he moved to Kent and later to Norfolk, specialising in painting the British landscape and the Channel coasts, interiors, people, and flowers.
Celebrating this twentieth-century artist on his centenary, Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe charts the five main phases of his career. It highlights how Cohen’s paintings were in constant dialogue with several key modern art movements including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, and Abstraction, and the radical evolution in his style that resulted in this powerful body of distinctive pictures.
This is the first London exhibition of Cohen’s work since his retrospective nearly 20 years ago. It is a collaboration between the Alfred Cohen Art Foundation, the Ben Uri Research Unit (part of Ben Uri Gallery and Museum), the Sainsbury Centre, the Centre for American Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King’s College London. The exhibition is co-curated by Max Saunders and Sarah MacDougall, and the exhibition and events programme is supported by the university’s Culture team.
A lavishly illustrated book, including contributions from leading curators, art historians, critics and writers, is available for purchase from The Union Shop at Bush House and the Somerset House Shop, and online.
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Alfred Cohen Centenary
Alfred Cohen’s centenary is marked by four different exhibitions running throughout 2020.
Alfred Cohen Museum, The School House, Wighton, near Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AL
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Castle Hill,Norwich, NR1 3JU
December: Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia, Norfolk Road, Norwich NR4 7TJ
Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe is closed until further notice. Please check back for digital content relating to the exhibition.