Walter Maciel Gallery will present a new body of work by New York based artist Andrea Cohen.
Cohen’s new sculptures continue to take their cues from the formal complexity of Chinese landscape painting and Chinese rock gardens. For her second solo show with Walter Maciel Gallery, Cohen presents five free standing sculptures and several small pedestal pieces. Three of the five large works, like her previous sculptures, are quirky yet carefully articulated hybrid landscapes made from materials such as tree branches, hand-dyed vinyl, Styrofoam, popsicle sticks, origami paper and numerous other materials. Within them, Cohen uses provisional materials and an economy of means. Each detail of these compositions is highly asserted and yet her sculptures appear to be on the verge of collapse.
Sharing her formal language, the other works in the show are reduced in form, have polished surfaces, and address landscape in a more representational way. Alongside the landscapes of networked materials, Cohen presents two more variations on the theme. The first are scholar’s rocks made out of carved Styrofoam, with custom painted bases. Second are large sculptures referencing flowerbeds and rock formations also finished with automotive gloss. Through this juxtaposition of materials and surfaces, and using forms that are both directly taken and abstracted from Chinese landscapes, Cohen further complicates the relationships among the natural, the cultivated, the abstracted, and the artificial, as well as the relationship between 2-d and 3-d conventions of representation.
Like her subject matter, Cohen’s working methods are variegated and labor intensive. Her processes as well as her forms strike a balance between control and exuberance, humor and contemplation, product and experiment.
Cohen received a BA from New York University in 1993 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 1999. She is currently an adjunct professor at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Cohen had her first solo exhibition at Walter Maciel Gallery in June of 2006. A series of the larger sculptures was featured in the show The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture at the Hirshhorn Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC that same year. She was also ARTnews magazine’s Critic’s Pick in the October 2006 issue. Her work is included in many important private collections.