She is an extremely talented and accomplished artist. The following information is from her profile on Absolute Arts. Scroll down for links to her artist sites and a slideshow/gallery of her work.
Saul Levine writes,
“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.”
From Absolute Arts:
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 Director‘s 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 artist’s 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 1970’s, 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. In 1971 she made a very perceptive series of photographic film portraits; her recent series of beautifully colored photographs is called, Life, Actually. Another picture, taken in the Museum of Modern Art garden, is written over with poetry, expressing feelings about 9/11 was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art’s “Life of the City” exhibition in 2002. The artist stated, “A few hours after the towers fell at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, I began the Towers and Variations paintings, brush drawings and photographs that represent the emotions I felt at this very dark time” Art historian and curator Simon Taylor found these works to be very powerful. The artist says that, “the Dialogues, the Pasqua series of heads and the Ancestors Portraits came out of a kind of tribal memory.” About her portraits, Helen Harrison, the New York Times art critic, has written that they are, “reminiscent of the mysterious studies of Redon.”
The Poem Paintings, a series of extraordinary calligraphic works are ongoing- these are fine paintings on paper, using bits from her own and other poets work. About the beautiful series called Vessels, the artist writes, ‘Vessels is a series of imagined pottery- from prehistory to now, and from every culture, honoring this ancient art form.” Mysteries-Woman is a series of watercolor and ink figure paintings on rice paper that were painted during the 1980s. The Origins drawings are abstract works also made in the mid 1980’s, as were the Cherry Tree ink paintings and the Vessels series. Most of her paintings and drawings have been made in her studio- the Waters and River drawings, March, May, October, Wildflowers, Birthday Roses, Florida Palm, Nature Studies, the Botanica drawings, though some of the watercolor landscapes and oil pastels, like the very early Brooklyn Botanical Gardens watercolors of 1951, the Louse Point, Easthampton watercolors of 1966, and the Inisfada watercolors, as well as the Planting Fields oil pastels were done outdoors. Cold Spring Harbor, Rosso, Winter Plum, Blues, Jade, Ashes, Beaches, Bay, Violetta, Sound, Breeze, Goldrush, August, Fall Blue, Threads, December, the Cantolena drawings and paintings, the Arctica paintings and the Love and War drawings are some of the works of the past ten years.
Lois DiCosola’s biography is listed in ‘Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975,’ the Who‘s Who publications, the Smithsonian Institution archives, the Sophia Smith collection at Smith College, the Schlesinger library at Harvard, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts- Clara archives in Washington DC, the Guild Hall Museum archives in Easthampton, NewYork, the Italo Calvino Memorial Library archives in Torino, Italy, among others. An artist of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists, her works are included in many public and private collections internationally.
Artist Profile: Absolute Arts
Artist Profile: Saatchi Online
Slideshow and Gallery
The images below are only a sample of the many works of art produced by Lois. For information on purchasing these, please click on the Absolute Arts link above.
Slideshow of Lois’ Artwork
Slideshow of Lois and Friends