ARTISTS / JOHN COHEN / ARTIST BIOGRAPHY [ VIEW THUMBNAILS ]

JOHN COHEN

(Born 1932, New York City)

Through photography, John Cohen documented one of the most transformative eras in American arts. From the Beat film Pull My Daisy and gallery happenings by early performance artists, to young Bob Dylan’s arrival in New York and Abstract Expressionist gatherings at the Cedar Bar, Cohen was present to record what are now historical events in the late 1950s and early 60s. Beyond the United States, Cohen traveled extensively to Peru, driven by a fascination for the weaving and lifestyle of the native Andean population. Photographs and recordings are available in Past, Present, Peru (2010) a multi-volume set produced by Steidl. Other monographs include: Here and Gone (2014), The High & Lonesome Sound (2012), Young Bob (2003), and There is No Eye (2001). Walking in the Light is due out later this year.


Cohen is also well known and has been greatly influential in the world of American folk music. As founding member of the band The New Lost City Ramblers in 1958, he was also the driving force for the field’s revival and appreciation. In his quest to follow its roots he visited Appalachia to witness, film and record a vanishing generation of musicians and singers. CDs of his field recordings and his own bands are available through Smithsonian Folkways Records and he continues to perform regularly.


The Library of Congress acquired John Cohens archive in 2010, thereby acknowledging the exceptional nature of his wide-ranging oeuvre and making his photographs, films and recordings accessible to researchers and the public.

CHRONOLOGY

1932

Born New York City

1955

BFA Yale School of Fine Arts

1957

MFA Yale School of Fine Arts. Studies painting with Josef Albers and photography with Herbert Matter

1958 - 2010

Founding member of band New Lost City Ramblers, Grammy nominee

1950s-2014

Documentary filmmaker for 17 films

1960s

Film assistant to Robert Frank (Pull My Daisy and Sin of Jesus)

1965

Moves to Putnam Valley

1972-1997

Professor of Visual Arts, SUNY, Purchase College, NY

2010

The Library of Congress Folk Life Center acquires Cohen's archive

Present

Paints while often traveling to perform music, screen his films or for exhibitions of his photographs

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016

The 10th Street Art World, 1957-1963
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY

2016

Greenwich Village & Washington Square Park – Mother Road Revival Weekend
Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa, OK, USA

2015

John Cohen Photographer (as part of Big Sky Documentary Film Festival)
Brink Gallery, Missoula, MT, USA

2013

Been Here and Gone
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY, USA

Been Here and Gone
Morrison Hotel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

National Music Centre
Exposure: Calgary Banff Canmore Photography Festival, Calgary, Canada

Woody Guthrie & Friends
Woody Guthrie Museum, Tulsa, OK, USA

2012

That High Lonesome Sound
University of Kentucky Hospital, Lexington, KY, USA

John Cohen Early Works: 1954-1957
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, NY, USA

2011

John Cohen
Musée Rimbaud, Charleville-Mezieres, France

John Cohen
Serge Aboukrat (Galerie La Non-Maison), Paris, France

John Cohen
Galerie La Non-Maison, Aix en Provence, France

2010

Past, Present, Peru
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY, USA

2008

Photographs of 1959 production of Pull My Daisy
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY, USA

There is No Eye
Joseph Saxton Gallery, Canton, OH

2007

Bob Dylan
Wave Gallery, Brescia, Italy

2006

Young Bob
Ice Box Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

There is No Eye: Photographs by John Cohen
Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA

2005

There is No Eye
Mizel Center, Denver, CO

2004

There is No Eye
Neuberger Museum, Purchase College SUNY, NY

There is No Eye
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

There is No Eye
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

There is No Eye
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Murfreesboro, TN

2003

Photographs of Young Bob
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY

There is No Eye
Daytona Beach Center for Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

There is No Eye
Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC

There is No Eye
Santa Fe College, photo gallery, NM

There is No Eye
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

There is No Eye
Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC

There is No Eye
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA

2002

There is No Eye
Photographic Resource Center, Boston University, Boston, MA

John Cohen and Other Musicians
Deborah Bell Photographs, New York, NY

1992

John Cohen: Peru
Nacional Museo de Arte, Lima, Peru

1981

John Cohen: Peru
Side Gallery, Newcastle, England

1980

Photographers Gallery, Wales

1977

John Cohen: Peru
Neuberger Museum, SUNY Purchase, NY

1970

John Cohen: Kentucky
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, RI

1960

John Cohen
Image Gallery, New York, NY

1959

John Cohen: Peru
American Institute of Graphic Artists, New York, NY

1958

John Cohen: Peru
Yale University Art Museum, New Haven, CT

1957

John Cohen: Peru
Limelight Gallery, New York, NY

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

Deadeye Dick: Richard Bellamy and His Circle
Peter Freeman, Inc., New York, NY

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1950-1965
NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Eye of the Song
Michael S. Currier Center, Putney School, Putney, VT

Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs
New York Public Library, New York, NY

The Photography Show Presented by AIPAD
Pier 94 (LPSP booth), New York, NY

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1950-1965
NYU Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY

2016

Beat Generation (traveling)
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
ZKM, Karisruhe, Germany

Identity
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX

2015

Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival
Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY

2014

American Cool
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

The Image Gallery: Redux (1959-1962)
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, NY

2013

New Jersey as NonSite
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton Township, NJ

Roving Signs
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, NY

The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth: Ancient Threads/New Directions
Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

2012

Happenings New York, 1958-1963
Pace Gallery Chelsea, New York, NY

2001

Recent Acquisitions: A Decade of Collecting
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1999

Insiders: Intimate Images
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998

This World, Another World
Photo Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

1997

Keeping Time: The Music Photographs of John Cohen & Milt Hinton
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Extended Play: Between Rock and an Art Space
Photographic Resource Center, Boston University, Boston, MA

A Spiritual Journey, Photography in Latin America
Brooklyn Museum

1996

Andean Light
Queens College, New York, NY

1995

Beat Culture and the New America, 1950-1965
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1994

Beat Generation
New York University Gallery, New York, NY

The Sixties
292 Gallery, NY

1986

Rebels, Poets & Artists of the 1950s
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

1981

Peru
Stills Gallery, Scotland Center for Photography, Edinburgh, Scotland

1978

Spirit of the New Landscape
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

1963

Group exhibition, Visual Arts Gallery, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

1958

Red Grooms, Jim Dine, John Cohen (drawings)
Judson Church, New York, NY

MONOGRAPHS

2016

Cohen, John. Pull My Daisy.Paris, France: Macula

Cohen, John. Cheap Rents... and de Kooning.Gottingen, Germany: Steidl

2015

Cohen, John. Walking in the Light.Gottingen, Germany: Steidl

2014

Cohen, John. Here and Gone: Bob Dylan & Woody Guthrie & the 1960s.Gottingen, Germany: Steidl

2012

Cohen, John. The High and Lonesome Sound.Gottingen, Germany: Steidl

2010

Cohen, John. Past, Present, Peru.Gottingen, Germany: Steidl

2003

Cohen, John. Young Bob: John Cohen’s Early Photographs of Bob Dylan.Brooklyn: powerHouse

2001

Cohen, John. There Is No Eye: John Cohen Photographs.Brooklyn: powerHouse

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

2016

Beat Generation.Paris, France: Centre Pompidou

2015

Wang, Harvey. From Darkroom to Digital.Chapel Hill: Daylight Books

COLLECTIONS

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

Jewish Museum, New York, NY

Library of Congress, Washington, DC (archive)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

Neuberger Museum, Westchester, NY

New York Public Library, New York, NY

Rhode Island School of Design, Newport, RI

Side Gallery, Newcastle, England New York Public Library, New York, NY

Sir Elton John Collection

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

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