Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media

Lauren Cohen

Discipline: Visual Art – mixed media
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Lauren Cohen constructs an artistic universe where control, power, sexuality, and violence are recurring themes. The forming and breaking down of “the other” within any given society is at the core of her research. Having grown up (and out) of puritan New England, she connects historical events and characters to her own growth and development in order to form fictional mythologies.

Cohen's practice is a multifaceted one, encompassing painting, drawing, sculpture, and comedic performance. Her content is imbued with raw psychological depth and punctuated by humor and satire, serving as a potent coping mechanism. Through a process of existential inquiry, Cohen's work illuminates both the beauty and horrors of humanity. Her unique approach involves juxtaposing symbols, memories, reinventions, and artifacts from different eras and cultures onto contemporary society, thereby offering new ways of seeing change.

While at MacDowell she completed her first film, The Fisherman. In response to the isolation and loneliness brought about by the pandemic, Cohen created a fictional character to date virtually. To fully immerse herself in this character's world, she adopted a unique and creative approach, donning the attire of her father, brother, and great uncle, and documented herself with the imaginary man. Cohen produced more than 300 ceramic pieces and several oil paintings that became integral components in the film. The Fisherman will premiere at MoMA in May 2023.

Cohen holds a B.F.A. from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and a master’s from Royal College of Art, London. Her work has been exhibited at Van Der Plas Gallery, New York; Trestle Gallery, New York; Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York; The Maine Jewish Museum, Portland; Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco; The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, California; The London Institute of Contemporary Art; The Blyth Gallery, London; and Goldsmiths College of London. She has been an artist-in-residence at NARS (New York Art Residency and Studios), The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and MASS MoCA. Previous juried exhibitions include Bloomberg New Contemporaries, The Catlin Guide, and Saatchi New Sensations.



Lauren Cohen worked in the Eastman studio.

Thanks to the generous support of MacDowell Fellow and board member Louise Eastman, this century-old farm building was reinvented as a modern, energy efficient live and workspace for visual artists. Originally built in 1915 to house a forge and provide storage when the residency program was expanding, this small barn was simply converted for…

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