Earth Slipped and Heaven Spilled
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Slag Gallery is excited to present Jeane Cohen’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery entitled Earth Slipped and Heaven Spilled from October 29, 2020 to January 2, 2021. The fourteen paintings in the exhibition are abstracted delineations of observed nature whether human, wildlife or media, painted this past summer while Cohen was in the solitude of Maine.
Michelle Grabner, noted artist, writer and curator, has written in the past on Cohen’s paintings as “… commingling of action, intellect, and genre reinforce the lived experiences of perception and translation; evoking the principles of attention and occupation over article and guile.”
Cohen’s Fires, 2020, embodies all Grabner wrote – the painting brings our collective idea of what a wildfire is together with her act of observation in complex dexterity through an immediacy rendered by gestural composition. Relating painterly innovation with a moment in time, Fires is assured of its location between representation and abstraction, asserting itself as an ontological inquiry.
Fires is anchored by the fire depicted in the bottom right of the canvas in rich reds and dark browns while in the top left corner the painting is somewhat contained by a smoky grayish night sky. The rest of the painting is enmeshed in a conflagration of pigment in bold and vibrant colors by choreographed marks, lines, scrubs, sweeps, daubs, veils, smudges, and retractions.
Cohen’s intuitive process is based upon her lived experiences and not in clean cut absolutes. She says that this body of work addresses “… what we cannot understand but may seem familiar or what may be difficult to grasp. This challenge of holding fast is why my works look like they are emerging, coming together, forming recognizable moments, falling and breaking, all at the same time.” That Cohen’s marks and gestures are alive with forces both intimate and infinite that are not easily held without close attention.
Heavens Spilling Out, 2020, is just that, the painting is spilling itself out across the canvas. It reveals everything to the viewer – delicate blues and browns with a touch of red umber, lingering and boundless brushstrokes barely touching the surface while drips and streams of pigment spill. In response to the subtle dynamics the viewer shares in the lived experiences with the painting as well as Cohen herself.