Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – performance, Visual Art – photography

Liz Cohen

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – performance, Visual Art – photography
Region: San Francisco, CA
MacDowell fellowships: 2002

Colombian-American photographer and performance artist Liz Cohen is best known for her project, Bodywork, in which she transformed an aging East German Trabant into an American El Camino lowrider and herself into a car customizer and bikini model. An earlier work, Canal, a series of black and white photographs and performances, documents sex workers on the fringe of the Panama Canal Zone. More recently, Him, depicts an ostracized poet through black and white photographs, weavings, and collaged textiles. Cohen’s work has been characterized as examining immigration, nonconformity, and resistance. She has received awards from MacDowell, Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Creative Capital Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation and has exhibited work at Site Santa Fe, Ballroom Marfa, the Cranbrook Art Museum, Färgfabriken, and Museum Tinguely. Her projects have been written about in the New York Times, Art in America and Lowrider Magazine.

Cohen received her M.F.A. in photography from the California College of the Arts, her B.F.A. in studio art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and her B.A. in philosophy from Tufts University. Her work is interdisciplinary, bringing together inquiry in women’s studies, literature, poetry, and auto mechanics as well as expertise in documentary photography, performance, video, installation, and sculpture.



Liz Cohen worked in the Putnam studio.

The Graphics Studio, converted to its present use in 1972–1974 through a grant from the Putnam Foundation, originally served the property as both a power house and pump house. Well water was pumped from a large cistern to Hillcrest, the Foreman’s Cottage, and the lower buildings closer to Union Street. Inside the building, an engine powered…

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