Mark Cohen (photographer)
|Born||1943 (age 73–74)
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania U.S.
|Home town||Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Pennsylvania|
Cohen's major books of photography are Grim Street (2005), True Color (2007), and Mexico (2016). His work was first exhibited in a group exhibition at George Eastman House in 1969 and he had his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1973. He was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1971 and 1976, and received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1975.
Life and work
The majority of the photography for which Cohen is known is shot in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area (also known as the Wyoming Valley), a historic industrialized region of northeastern Pennsylvania. Characteristically Cohen photographs people close-up, using a wide-angle lens and a flashgun, mostly in black and white, frequently cropping their heads from the frame, concentrating on small details. He has used 21 mm, 28 mm and 35 mm focal length, wide-angle, lenses and later on 50 mm. Cohen has described his method as 'intrusive'; "They're not easy pictures. But I guess that's why they're mine."
Discussing his influences with Thomas Southall in 2004 he cites ". . . so many photographers who followed Cartier-Bresson, like Frank, Koudelka, Winogrand, Friedlander." He also recognises the influence of Diane Arbus. Whilst acknowledging these influences he says: "I knew about art photography...Then I did these outside the context of any other photographer."
Books by Cohen
- Mark Cohen, Photographer: A Monograph. 1980. 38 pp. OCLC 14157788.
- Mark Cohen: October 10 – December 13, 1981. Washington, DC: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1981. 24 pp. OCLC 8793002.
- Images: A Photographic Essay of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Avoca, PA: Economic Development Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1982. 58 pp. OCLC 40750751.
- Five Minutes in Mexico: Photographs. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Sordoni Art Gallery, 1989. 71 pp. ISBN 0-942945-00-X.
- Grim Street. New York: powerHouse, 2005. ISBN 1-57687-230-0.
- True Color. New York: powerHouse, 2007. ISBN 1-57687-372-2. Text by Vince Aletti. Work in colour originating as a commission from George Eastman House.
- Italian Riviera. Rome: Punctum, 2008. ISBN 978-8-895410-16-6. Edition of 40 copies. Made along the Levante Riviera, during his stay in Rapallo, Liguria.
- Mark Cohen: Strange Evidence. Self-published / CreateSpace, 2012. ISBN 978-1456563738. Catalogue of the exhibition Mark Cohen: Strange Evidence at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, January 2010 to March 2011, curated by Peter Barbiere.
- Dark Knees. Paris: Xavier Barral, 2013. ISBN 978-2-365110-42-6. "Wilkes-Barre and around Pennsylvania 1969–2012". "Published on the occasion of the exhibition Mark Cohen Dark Knees at [Le Bal] in Paris between September 27 and December 8, 2013 and at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam between November 8, 2014 and January 11 2015."
- Frame: a Retrospective. Austin: University of Texas, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4773-0372-6. With an introdutcion by Jane Livingston.
- Mexico. Austin: University of Texas, 2016. ISBN 978-1-4773-1171-4.
Contributions to publications
- Contatti. Provini d'Autore = Choosing the best photo by using the contact sheet. Vol. I. Edited by Giammaria De Gasperis. Rome: Postcart, 2012. ISBN 978-88-86795-87-6.
Books about Cohen
- Wonders Seen in Forsaken Places: An essay on the photographs and the process of photography of Mark Cohen by Alphonso Lingis. Self-published / CreateSpace, 2010. ISBN 978-1442180536.
- 1971: Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
- 1975: National Endowment for the Arts grant
- 1976: Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2014)|
- 1973: Photographs by Mark Cohen, Museum of Modern Art, New York City. MoMA exhibition #1027.
- 1975: Art Institute of Chicago.
- 2010/2011: Mark Cohen: Strange Evidence, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- 2013: Mark Cohen: Italian Riviera, 2008, Maslow Collection at Marywood University, Scranton, PA.
- 2013: Dark Knees (1969 - 2012), Le Bal, Paris.
- 2014: Mark Cohen, Danziger Gallery, New York, NY.
Notable group exhibitions
- 1969: Vision and Expression, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Organised by Nathan Lyons.
- 1978: Mirrors and Windows: American Photography Since 1960, Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
Cohen's work is held in the following permanent public collections:
- Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
- Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA
- George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
- Musee de la Photographie, Belgium
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Museum of Modern Art, New York City
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
- The Polaroid Collection, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
- Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
- Estrin, James (7 December 2012). "Bright Flash, Small City". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- "Jumprope". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Mark Cohen, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- NEA 1975 Annual report (PDF), page 97.
- "Mark Cohen" (PDF). Brucesilverstein.com. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "Photography: Mark Cohen", Profiles in Excellence. Penn State Public Broadcasting, 1982. Here  at Penn State on Demand. (Starts at 1′43″.)
- Estrin, James (8 May 2014). "Pictures on the Street? It's Complicated". New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- 2004 interview with Thomas Southall, in Grim Street.
- 2004 interview with Anne Wilkes Tucker, in the preface to Grim Street.
- According to WorldCat, "Also published as Camera, 1980, no. 3."
- "Exhibition History List". MoMA. Retrieved 2010-06-26.
- "1975 News Releases", Art Institute of Chicago.
- "Mark Cohen: Strange Evidence". Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 2010-10-25.
- "Mark Cohen: Italian Riviera, 2008", Marywood University.
- Moroz, Sarah (22 October 2013). "Mark Cohen: the photographer who literally shoots from the hip". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Nathan Lyons, Vision and Expression (New York: Horizon Press, 1969).
- George Eastman House bio.
- 129 items, detailed in the checklist of artists. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- Two items, according to the alphabetical listing of artists, including Girl with Skipping Rope, the cover image of Grim Street. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- "Jumprope". Victoria and Albert Museum.
- Four unspecified items, according to the alphabetical listing of artists. Retrieved 2010-05-30.