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.
Bernard Cohen currently lives and works in London.