A Quiet Place: Mike Childs & Nancy Cohen
Opening reception: June 1, 2018, 6-9pm
Animal Behavior f, 2017
Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
24" x 24" (60.1cm x 60.1cm)
©2018 Mike Childs/Robert Henry Contemporary
Pigment and Handmade paper
98" x 80" (2.5m x 2m)
©2018 Nancy Cohen/Robert Henry Contemporary
robert henry contemporary is pleased to announce a two person exhibition of new work by New York-based Canadian artist Mike Childs and New Jersey-based artist Nancy Cohen.
A Quiet Place: Mike Childs & Nancy Cohen
June 1 – July 29, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, June 1 from 6-9pm
Brooklyn, NY — May 1, 2018 — A Quiet Place is an exhibition of three new paintings on canvas by Mike Childs and two new paper constructions by Nancy Cohen, both of whom use human-made and non-human-made systems, shapes and patterns to explore time, space and the human condition.
Mike Childs’s acrylic and spray paint compositions combine human-made forms derived from Modern architecture, highway and business signage, comic books, and the urban landscape as seen from the artist’s studio window into complex, colorful compositions of shifting spaces and unsettled places. Childs explains, “The human position as it relates to this mediated, constantly developing urban environment is of main concern within my life and work.” The tension in his compositions is a reflection of the constant state of human-made change experienced in urban environments. The persistent movement of the eye over the surface of his paintings and shifting perspectives acts as a metaphor for this experience. Childs’s paintings offer, “An examination of our culturally dictated perspective through image-making”…that, “at the very least carves out a space or perhaps oasis to sit quietly within.”
Derived from and responding to the natural structures of waterways, Nancy Cohen’s large-scale, tapestry-like paper drawings explore the human-like balance of fragility and strength inherent in water systems. Cohen’s memories of particular waterways, their changes over time, and her personal observations on the struggles of human aging combine to explore this natural dichotomy. Cohen begins by making pigmented papers and then assembles them sculpturally, still wet, pieced together in quilt-like fashion. As the wet pulp dries, wrinkles form and buckling occurs that look similar to stitching. Afterward, Cohen “draws” biomorphic, linear forms and structures on these skin-like constructions with paper pulp of varying densities. The resulting textures and surfaces in her hybridization of the shapes and forms of river systems with those of the human body metaphorically speak to the passing of time. Cohen writes, “The finished works speak to the physicality of the body and simultaneously evoke an intimate sense of touch, in a way akin to being in nature experiencing both vastness and quiet moments of focus.”
Mike Childs and Nancy Cohen observe structures, forms and patterns from different sources. Both artists use these elements from either the built environment for Childs or the natural world for Cohen to create opportunities for reflection on the experience of space and movement of time.
Mike Childs received his BFA from the University of Guelph, Canada, and an MFA from Florida State University. He is the recipient of several awards including a Pollock-Krasner Grant and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Project Award. His work has been exhibition nationally and internationally. He maintains a studio in The Bronx, NY.
Nancy Cohen earned her BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY in 1981, her MFA from Columbia University, NYC in 1984 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME in 1984. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally including, White Columns, Art In General, Het Kunst Keldertje, Rotterdam, NL, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI, Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ, Katonah Museum, Katonah, NY, Howard University, Exit Art, NYC and The Sculpture Center, NYC, among others. She lives and maintains her studio in Jersey City, NJ.