A new exhibition in the Arcade at Bush House, ‘Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe’ opened on Monday 16 March for a bittersweet two day run, before being forced to close as part of King’s response to Covid-19.
The second (and last) day of the exhibition was attended by Cohen’s 90-year-old widow Diana, who had travelled from Norfolk to see her late husband’s work on display. The exhibition was to be the first London exhibition of this celebrated twentieth-century artist’s work since his retrospective nearly 20 years ago
“I had to come, I had to see it here” – Diana Cohen
The university’s Culture team are now working with the co-curators to explore ways to share Cohen’s colourful and distinctive work with a wider audience using digital platforms, bringing the artist to the attention of a new generation of art-lovers. Time In (previously Time Out) have also made a selection of the exhibition’s artwork available on their website.
Celebrating the artist on his centenary, Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe was co-curated by Max Saunders(Faculty of Arts & Humanities), and Sarah MacDougall, Ben Uri Gallery & Museum. Charting the five main phases of his career, the exhibition examined 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 a powerful body of distinctive pictures.
The project 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 supported by the university’s Culture team.
A lavishly illustrated book, including contributions from leading curators, art historians, critics and writers, is available online.
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The Arcade at Bush House is part of the Strand Cultural Quarter at King’s College London, home to a diverse programme of events, installations and exhibitions featuring the #KingsCulturalCommunity
Photography by Jo Mieszkowski