Bien que cela soit naturel,
JAN 23rd - MAR 13th, 2021
Online exhibition of Dorian Cohen for his solo show “Bien que cela soit naturel”
From urban spaces to the intimacy of an apartment, Dorian Cohen’s paintings are mostly inspired by what surround us, our everyday life, our everyday landscapes. The exhibition held by PARIS-B in 2021 brought together about fifteen oil on canvas. Through the full glory of oil paint, he reveals the pictorial potential of places we no longer pay attention to.
A very ordinary meal between friends is metamorphosed by the painter, who dramatizes the scene by playing upon an anachronism between the representation of a very current subject and a treatment of the image that references classical painting. The characters eat together but seem alone with their thoughts. The painter makes visible their psychology but also offers a social critique of our society’s progressive individualism, which renders us mute even in places intended for socializing.
In his series begun in 2015, Les Urbanités, the painter describes banal urban spaces where beauty is not evident, nor ugliness flagrant. Through the full glory of oil paint, he reveals the pictorial potential of these places. Thus, the heap of plant pots in a Parisian courtyard is staged in a flowerbed within a checkerboard of lozenges, worked with the perspective of 15th century Italian painting. The jumble of façades in various materials within the clusters of Parisian buildings transforms into the competing wallpapers of Vuillard, contrasting with the enthusiasm of the residual vegetation in this suffocating minerality.
The painting Mère et Fils seems to be the culmination of the narrative cruelty, inspired by Zola, that the artist seeks to express. In a bedroom filled with old furniture, a man in his seventies sits in front of his mother, over ninety years old, in her walker. Here, Cohen evokes a generation of men who, in the calm of retirement, once again become the children of their aged but living mothers, as they live out the twilight of their relationship. The sadness of this contemporary scene is magnified by the softness of the dusk light in shades of blue that gently caresses the furniture in the scene.
If the social commentary of the painter’s oeuvre is undeniably tinged with a faint pessimism, it is only the logical mirror of the disenchantment of a generation faced with a very uncertain future, between climate, ecological and health crises. It is a similar feeling to that which we find in the naturalistic painters and writers of more than a century before, as they faced the social determinism of their era.
Dorian Cohen is a young French painter born in 1987. He lives and works in Paris. He has a degree in urban design and engineering and is self-taught as a painter. His paintings were revealed to the art world in 2017 during the 62nd Montrouge Salon. In 2018, he won the Colas Foundation Award and in 2019 he was nominated for the 10th edition of the Sciences PO Contemporary Art Award.