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Kate Cohen draws from the traditions of Surrealism and folk art to craft riveting personal icons that record her life experiences in resonant symbols. She assembles diverse, often aged materials and arranges them into complex construction. She seduces the viewer by revealing her creative process and thus taps into the collective unconscious where symbols are transformed from autobiographical details to universal truths.
A gifted painter as a well as a talented sculptor, Cohen combines both media in objects that demand viewer interaction. Sometimes this interaction is intellectual, as in the puzzle-like games of pieces like “Burlee Girl” where fragmented words and other visual clues are scattered across the composition, inviting the viewer to “solve” the mystery of the art and thereby determining meaning. At other times, the interaction is physical, as in “Dry Docked Fish” which invites the viewer to pick up the oceanic forms, hold it up to the light and inspecting the evocative forms revealed through it’s translucent skin. In both cases, the knowing is intuitive. Cohen’s work tells without narrative; it implies in visual language rather than
explaining with text.
Betty Brown - Art Historian - Cal State, Northridge