An exhibition of works by the renowned Norfolk painter Alfred Cohen will feature in this summer’s King’s Lynn Festival, through a partnership with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.
Born in America in 1920, Cohen served in the US Army Air Corps during the Second World War, developing a particular love of the aerial view which had a profound impact on his later compositions.
In 1978 he moved to Wighton, north Norfolk, where he converted a former schoolhouse into a studio, a print workshop and an art gallery. Cohen continued painting, drawing, etching and producing screenprints until his death in 2001.
Vividly coloured, his oil paintings and prints capture the dramatic effects of light on land, sea and townscapes and are represented by major public collections in Britain and abroad.
The exhibition organised by the Sainsbury Centre for the King’s Lynn Festival explores the theme of light and water, strongly conveyed in Cohen’s work of The Thames, the channel coasts and the Norfolk area.
The Sainsbury Centre has just acquired a group of eight paintings by Alfred Cohen which will be added to its permanent collection and celebrate the life and work of this great artist.
His wife, Diana Cohen, said: “This exhibition is a selection of paintings spanning a period of 40 years.
“Alfred was always attracted to the coast and the dramatic effects of light on water. He loved north Norfolk and the rapid changes of the weather and of the colours – and that really shows in these exuberant and vivid pictures.”
Max Saunders, director of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute, King’s College London, added: “What fascinates me about these pictures is the way they show Alfred thinking about light.
“How it interacts with water and air, to produce rainbows, sunsets, glitter trails; how it interacts with our eyes and minds to produce colour, dazzle, beauty; and how we use it, whether to illuminate the night scene, or to make photographic representations as well as expressionist effects in paint.”
The exhibition in the Fermoy Gallery at Lynn Arts Centre will be open from 10am-4pm, Monday to Saturday, July 18-30; with free admission.