The Julie Saul Gallery is pleased to announce our third solo exhibition of recent collages by Elaine Lustig Cohen. The twenty five works included in the exhibition were created during the last two years, and demonstrate a transition in her use of the medium from primarily vintage photographs and graphic elements to a much more extensive use of her own photographs and painting. The scale of the works has also grown.
Elaine Lustig Cohen worked during the mid fifties and â60s as an innovative graphic designer, and later formed a gallery with her husband Arthur Cohen called Ex Libris, specializing in avant-garde books, graphics and photography from the early modernist era. Cohen's personal work, which has ranged from large scale abstract painting, reliefs, and for the last decade, collage, has always drawn from the vocabulary and structures of modernist movements, from Dada and Surrealism through Constructivism.
Her highly original and playful synthesis of the ideas and forms of the twentieth century make her the ideal "trans millennium" exhibition, as her career and inspirational sources have truly spanned the 20th century. Among the multiple themes put forth in the show are a series involving classical and baroque sculpture photographed by Cohen at the Metropolitan Museum, the Kunsthistorische in Vienna, the Glyptotech in Munich and others. Collage elements range from cigar labels to tarot cards-the starting place is always the image, and she then "riffs" with responsive images and painting.
Cohen's work has been exhibited widely. She had solo exhibitions of painting during the 1970s and 80s at the Mary Boone Gallery, John Bernard Meyers, and Exit Art, New York and Modernism, San Francisco. In 1994 the Cooper Hewitt (National Design Museum) organized a solo show of her graphic design work. The International Association of Art Critic's awarded Cohen's last exhibition here as "best show of an under-recognized artist" for 1997.