Joshua Cohen 2012-2013

Joshua Cohen

Columbia University

Joshua Cohen’s dissertation, Masks and the Modern: African/European Encounters in 20th-century Art, investigates modernist appropriations of African art by both European and African painters. Cohen asserts that European and African artists’ naïve appropriative practices in the early-twentieth-century offer a point of investigation from which different, or multiple modernities can be decoded, revealing uncharted links between European and African modernist traditions. He has stated his goal  as follows: “By analyzing modern African-imbued compositions via careful lines of comparison and influence, my dissertation seeks to read these works' cross-cultural translations and discordances as signs of a productive if uneasy dialogue moving back and forth across continents.”

Mr. Cohen earned his B.A. in English from Vassar College.  He has presented his research at a number of symposia including the 15th Triennial Symposium on African Art, and has published articles in journals including the Journal of Black Studies, and the Chicago Art Journal.