Artist Statement for Lois Di Cosola
all images are copyrighted c by Lois DiCosola 2016
--all rights are reserved-no image may be reproduced without the written consent of the artist.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
"The art of Lois DiCosola becomes a unique window through which can be seen the magical visual poetry present in our environment. Each of her perceptions is a personal thumbprint, bringing biology and biography to our awareness- it is nature, properly seen, written with abstract configurations. A mind rich in sensitivity, highly original and intelligent, she is always sophisticated in her aesthetic decisions, use of color, dynamic brushwork, superb draftsmanship, and inventive handling of textural surfaces. Her ongoing series of self portraits, and portraits of others, while being expert in their physiognomic accuracy, are also remarkable for their projection of the unique temperaments of the personalities depicted. All this, together with a rare capacity for subtle and economic design, moves the artist to continue re- inventing elegant pictorial forms."
Saul Levine-- from "The Art of Lois diCosola"
Visiting the Brooklyn Museum's extraordinary collections became an important part of her early art education. Lois Bock, then a young art student, attended the fine art studio program at Prospect Heights, just across the street from the museum. Classes included life drawing, painting, graphic arts and book production, in an environment where, together with traditional art school techniques, freedom of imagination was encouraged. In 1951 she also attended art classes at the Museum of Modern Art on a scholarship grant. This extraordinary early fine art education also prepared her to work in the field of art publishing. In 1952 she won the Seventeen magazine It's All Yours International award for her illustration, which the art editor, Art Kane selected for publication in the June 1953 issue of Seventeen magazine. The same artwork went on to win the Art Directors Club award for Editorial art in the Art Directors Club Annual of Editorial Art and Design in 1954. She also received the Carnegie Fine Art Institute award in printmaking, and the Augustus Saint Gaudens Medal for fine draftsmanship. She graduated with a Fine Art diploma in January of 1953, beginning a professional artistic career at that interesting moment in the history of American art- mid twentieth century. She also holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree.
Painting, while at the same time drawing from the model, where from the very beginning one can see an understanding of the figure as shown through the use of a variety of materials- often as arresting as the drawings of the Renaissance masters. This early on, the artist produced a fine body of work, including the tempera, wax and ink abstraction, Emergence, created in 1951- this was actually at the pivotal moment when Harold Rosenberg coined the term "Action Painting." She spoke of this some years later with Willem De Kooning, who understood her dual approach completely;
"When Willem de Kooning and I met, we recognized in each other the same ancient formal passion for packing onto our own private cave walls- a panoply of personal archaeological finds, through the materiality of paint."
In the fall of 1959, she attended Richard Pousette-Dart's painting workshop at the New School-- where she began to paint on larger canvases. Plum, Pink Rain, Tan, Swingthings, Windows, Vineyard, Matador, Tokaido, and the Paintings for the Dutch Masters series are some of her early abstract paintings. Swingthings, Matador and Tokaido were shown at Guild Hall Museum in Easthampton in 1963, and selected for an award by Harold Rosenberg, Adolph Gottlieb and Larry Rivers. Three of the Paintings for the Dutch Masters were shown the following year at Guild Hall in the award exhibition; and from that show James Brooks invited her to be his chosen artist for "Artists Select" at Finch College Museum. Curators from the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, and Guggenheim Museum, among others, have selected Lois DiCosola's work for various exhibitions of note.
In the mid 1960s DiCosola traveled cross country, and into Mexico- where she began a series of geometric designs which resulted in the Aquarius combine paintings. She worked on these as a guest artist at the University of California at Berkeley- three of these paintings, Aquarius, Yellowjack and Apollo were installed in the pioneer feminist art exhibition, X12, in Manhattan, in January of 1970.
From her Chelsea Hotel studio and Studio X on 14th Street, also in 1970, DiCosola began the artist's book "Notes from the Hotel Chelsea," combining xerography with mixed media together with her poetry, a combination of media not yet seen. The book demonstrates DiCosola's gift for placement and for finding meaning through the juxtaposition of images. The Museum Drawings made awhile traveling in Europe, and in American museums are mindful of the artists early lighthearted sketches. The Artist and Herself, In Line, Beautiful Free Women, Mountain Woman, Asian Women, Hands, Cielo e Mar, and Self Portraits are some of her other books that are filled with wonderful drawings, collages and poetry. Several of her etchings and stone and plate lithographs were made at Pratt Graphics Center on Broadway, downtown in the early 1970s, and the Moonlight aquatint etchings with master printer, Donn Steward between 1977 and 1979. A print from this series was shown in curator, Judith Wolfe's "Prints from the Permanent Collection" exhibition at Guild Hall Museum in 1980.
Photography has always been an important part of her work.... Read More