North View Gallery

Sylvania CT 214 Building | Gallery Director: Vicki Wilson


Works in this show will range from small ink and watercolor paintings on paper to large Chinese calligraphy scrolls.

Painting by Dante Cohen

A Funeral for Victory, ink & watercolor on paper 2009, 8"x12"

September 24th to October 23, 2009
8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday
Artist Talk in the Gallery:
Wednesday, September 30th, 3 to 6pm. Reception to follow.

Dante Cohen: Artist's Statement

I have been painting since the early 1980s. I spent several years in Taiwan and China studying traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. That started me on the creative path I continue to pursue today. My paintings combine Chinese technique with western narrative content.

I think of my PCC Sylvania show as a celebration of the Chinese calligraphy and painting styles that I love. This is the first show where I have used Chinese calligraphy extensively. I have also incorporated several Chinese painting genres into the show. Several paintings are done in the landscape style. There are also examples of paintings inspired by communist propaganda art and Tibetan thanka paintings.

All the work is united by the medium; ink and watercolor on paper. All the painting is done with Chinese brushes made out of dog, goat and horse hair. There is no pen or pencil used in any painting. The Chinese painting technique does not allow the artists to paint over a mistake. Every line and mark on every painting is the expression of intent and physical movement.

Painting by Dante Cohen

Useful Emptiness, ink & watercolor on paper 2008, 8"x12"

Much of the work also exhibits my sense of humor and post-modern pre-apocalyptic sensibility. The Zen Buddhist tenet that reality and fantasy are the same is also prevalent in the paintings and the calligraphy. The idea that the human mind invents its own reality out of nothing has been inspiring to me as a painter. The characters kong (空) meaning empty and se(色)meaning form are incorporated into a lot of the artwork. The foundational Buddhist idea that emptiness and form are the same is very pertinent to a painter who is using form and emptiness on a white surface to create a separate reality or illusion.

Dante Cohen

Dante Cohen: Bio

Dante Cohen was born in Lecce, Italy. He grew up mostly in NY State and moved to Portland around 15 years ago. Dante Cohen has been painting since the early 1980s. He has shown his work on both coasts, illustrated stories, and created book covers. Several years spent in Taiwan and China studying traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy started him on the creative path he continues to pursue. His paintings combine Chinese technique with western narrative content. Chinese brushes and paper are difficult to master but reward a painter by being an incredibly sensitive and responsive medium as one learns physically and mentally how to control them.

See more of Dante's work at