Brian D. Cohen: Watercolors from the Landscape
Art Show: January 16 - February 23
Artist Reception: Thursday, January 18 from 5:30 - 7:00pm
Connecticut River, Brattleboro II
Brian in his studio.
Brian D. Cohen is an educator, artist, and writer. In 1989 he founded Bridge Press to further the association and integration of visual image, original text, and book structure.
As a printmaker, Brian has shown in over forty individual exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Fresno Art Museum, and has participated in over 150 group shows. Brian's books and etchings are held by major private and public collections throughout the country, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Stanford Universities, Middlebury, Smith, Wellesley, Swarthmore, and Dartmouth Colleges, the University of Vermont, The New York Public Library, The Library of Congress, and the Philadelphia and Portland (Oregon) Museums of Art, as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the United States Ambassador's residence in Egypt. Brian was the winner of major international print competitions in San Diego, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, DC., and Mexico City, and was awarded the Best Book in Show at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair.
He is the illustrator of two popular natural science books, Reading the Forested Landscape and The Granite Landscape, and is a frequent contributor of artwork to literary reviews and other publications, including the Paris Review. A book of his work, Brian D. Cohen: Etchings & Books, was published in 2001. His writing on prints, books, and arts education have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art in Print, Parenthesis, Vermont Views, and other print and online journals and magazines.
Brian, a former resident of Saxtons River, now lives in Westmoreland, New Hamphsire.
Shut your eyes, wait, think of nothing. Now, open them ... one sees nothing but a great colored undulation...an irradiation and glory of color. This is what a picture should give us ... an abyss in which the
eye is lost, a secret germination, a colored state of grace...
-- Paul Cezanne
I had been working in black and white etching for over twenty years before returning to my earlier infatuation with color around five years ago. All my watercolor paintings are done on site, in immediate response to where I happen to be, to that particular topography, light, and distance. I simplify or obscure detail in favor of larger forms and the broader swell of color, aiming for a color chord or harmony that speaks of time, light, and distance all at once. I wet the paper before starting and complete a painting within the time it takes for the paper to dry, usually in less than ten minutes, timing the drying of the paper as I lay in new washes of
color. I use a big brush, which helps things go quickly. As the pigment is laid into wet paper, it may do what it wants, so there are some incidental and unmanageable drips, spills, and bleeds. Though I’m clearly not interested in specific detail, the paintings are, in my opinion, accurate representations of those places at those times.
Several of my paintings are of the Connecticut River, the feature of our landscape I have been most significantly drawn to for many years. Another group, marked by a distinctive double hump, is of Bald Mountain in Westminster, Vermont. A third set of paintings are from the fields, forests, and hills near my house in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. Several more are from California; from a perch at 6,000 feet looking west from the San Jacinto Mountains with a hundred mile view; and from the beach looking out to the Pacific Ocean.
Brian D. Cohen