British abstract painter, born in London of Polish-Russian parents. He studied at *St Martin's School of Art, 1950–51, and the *Slade School, 1951–4, then in 1954–6 lived in France, Italy, and Spain on a travelling scholarship. Cohen is regarded as one of the leading British abstract artists of his time and his work has been individual and varied. In the 1960s some of his paintings looked like arrangements of what has been called ‘highly coloured spaghetti’ (In That Moment, 1965, Tate); later his work has generally been less densely packed, with galaxies of coloured patches and spots floating against a light background. He has taught at several art schools: from 1988 to 2000 he was professor at the Slade School. His brother, Harold Cohen (1928– ), is also an abstract painter and a noted exponent of *computer art.

Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)

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