Clown, 2019 - Acrylic on canvas
Bernard Cohen has described himself as "A storyteller and a creator of pictorial theatre". His tensely wrought and unpredictably complex pictures hold a unique position within the canon of contemporary art.
Born in London in 1933, he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1951-1954. In 1988 he was appointed as Slade Professor and Director of the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London.
Cohen came to prominence during the 1960s and has since exhibited widely. Ten of Cohen’s paintings are in the Tate collection. His first solo exhibition with Flowers Gallery was in 1998, and in 2007 the gallery hosted Bernard Cohen: Paintings from the Sixties, focusing on an important period in Cohen’s artistic development. In 2009, Work of Six Decades celebrated his career by bringing together a selection of key works. A comprehensive book accompanied this exhibition. In 2015, Cohen exhibited About Now, Paintings and Prints 2000 - 2015, which was also accompanied by a book written by Ian McKay.
Other important shows include a retrospective exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London in 1972, which then toured to Newcastle and Leeds; Artist in Focus, Six Paintings from the Tate Gallery Collection, The Tate Gallery, London in 1995; Stroll on! Aspects of British Abstract Art in the Sixties, Mamco, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva in 2006; and Abstraction and the Human Figure at CAM’s British Art Collection, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon in 2010. Cohen was invited by Michael Craig-Martin to exhibit at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 2015. Recent 2018 Cohen exhibitions include an impressive retrospective solo Spotlight at Tate Britain. Cohen was also featured in Post Pop at the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and Kaleidoscope at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
Bernard Cohen currently lives and works in London.
Post-Pop, Beyond the Commonplace
Featuring Bernard Cohen, Tom Phillips & Richard Smith
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
London in the 60s
Bernard Cohen, Michael Kidner, and Richard Smith
Louis Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles
Featuring Bernard Cohen, Michael Kidner & Richard Smith
Walker Art Gallery
This is Today
Featuring Derek Boshier, Bernard Cohen, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Smith
Gazelli Art House
News and Events
In Conversation: Bernard Cohen and Nathan Cohen with Philip DoddLondon
21 April, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Private View: Two Journeys - Bernard Cohen and Nathan CohenLondon
15 March, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Bernard Cohen Spotlight Display at Tate Britain
4 December 2017
Flowers Gallery and The House of St Barnabas
7 July 2017
Bernard Cohen TalkLondon
14 November, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Bernard Cohen Private View and Book LaunchLondon
15 October, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Bernard Cohen painting displayed at Tate Britain
13 July 2015