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Cohen studied at St Martin’s School of Art and the Slade. He later taught at Ealing School and Chelsea College of Art. In 1988 he was appointed Slade Professor and Chair of Fine Art at London University.

This painting refers both to ancient cultures and modern life. The interwoven lines partly reflect Cohen’s interest in weaving. They also derive from his memory of an enormous radio telescope called ‘The Very Large Array’ in New Mexico. This sits in a vast plain which is criss-crossed in different directions by railway tracks, echoing the irregular black lines in this image.

September 2004