Nancy Cohen (1984)

Installation Shot (left/back: Itinerant Couple, right/foreground: Plural); Heidi Cho Gallery, 522 W. 23rd Street, NYC, NY; March-April 2006
Itinerant Couple, 28 x 56 x 50 inches, 2005; shopping carts, belts, handmade paper
Wheel Chair, 30 x 30 x 30 inches, 2001; cast glass
Cradle, 36 x 36 x 22 inches, 2006; steel, rubber, sneakers, handmade paper
Dredge, 16 x 9 x 7 inches, 2005; glass, metal, paper, monofilament, wax
Gurney, 28 x 60 x 16 inches, 2002; glass, sand, rubber, lace, cement

Humanity is easily bruised or torn, and yet it struggles, perseveres and in the end prevails. I see my recent work as a collection of survivors. Vulnerability is evident; protection is partial; support is insecure. But there is a feeling of clarity, self-sufficiency and sinew that suffuses the work and that derives directly from the trials through which it seems to have passed.

In much of this work, there is an implicit human presence. Survivors exist singly in Cradle, together in Itinerant Couple and in a web of mutual interdependence and support in Plural. They are half-revealed and half-guarded in wall sculptures that might be either figures or the armor shielding them. They inhabit the empty spaces of the work, are carried by the unmoving wheels and, above all, are reflected in the fragile beauty of the elements and surfaces-skins, laces, meshes and sheets in translucent, hand-worked paper, glass and monofilament. Throughout, there is a sense of the body-its touch and tenderness, its frailty and endurance.

There are perils in life and there is the anxiety of facing them. And here, in this work, there are both-and the steady strength that comes of having lived them through.