Orly Cogan lives and works in Hudson Valley, NY. Born in Israel and educated at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC and The Maryland Institute College of Art. Cogan has been exhibiting her work throughout the US and in Europe for over two decades and has been at the forefront of the fiber arts movement with an emphasis on Feminism in contemporary art.
Cogan has been included in a number of notable national and international museum and University exhibitions including “Pretty Tough, Contemporary Storytelling” at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, “Pricked, Extreme Embroidery” The Museum of Arts & Design, NY, which has her work in the permanent collection, “Material Girls” The Riverside Museum, Riverside, California, “I Want Candy” Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, and “She Will Always Be Younger Than Us” Textile Museum of Toronto, Canada, with Judy Chicago among others. “Sur Le Fil” Musee International Des Arts Modeste, Sete, France, “The Needle’s Eye” The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo, and permanent collection. Cogan’s work has been published in several books and museum catalogues. Her reviews are included in: The New York Times, The Chicago Sun Times, LA Times, The Reader, NY Press, Art Press Magazine, W Magazine, Elle, Fiber Arts, Textile Plus, Surface Design, Art In America, Tema Celeste, Interior Design, Art Press, Art News, Time Out Chicago, Time Out New York, The American Art Collector and Art Forum to name a few.
The tableaux I create are inspired by relationships. They evolve from personal mythologies. I work with vintage, printed fabrics and found embroideries made by women of previous and more modest eras. I act as a collaborator, modernizing their traditional work and altering its original purpose. The fabric becomes the foundation for a fantastical exploration.
Through my own hand stitching I update the content of the vintage embroidery to incorporate the unladylike reality and wit of contemporary women; their struggles and the stereotypes which must now be overcome. These struggles are in all probability very different from those of the earlier generation of women who originally embroidered the textiles to “feminize” their homes. Much of the subject matter touches upon story telling concerning fertility, power plays in relationships, sexuality, self image, isolation, vulnerability and beauty in the mundane.
I am drawn to the space between–dichotomies such as soft and tough, dirty and clean, fantasy and reality, especially as related to gender. My work explores common feminine archetypes and stereotypes, such as Madonna/Whore, Pin-Up Girl, Lolita, and the Femme Fatale. Searching for that odd thing, the Feminist Beauty Queen, I mix subversion with flirtation, humor with power, and intimacy with frivolity.
Ultimately, my quest is to tell a story about the role of women in our ever changing society, all the while honoring the labors of the past. In the process, I aim to provoke certain questions: What role do women want to play in society today? Who do we want to be? What kind of relationships do we want to have? Who are our role models? What are we teaching our children? I hope to ask all of this within the context of constantly shifting boundaries that define our relationships and our identities.
February 2018 Group Exhibition
“After Birth” The Catherine G Murphy Gallery at the St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN
May 2018 Groups Exhibition
Title to be announced. Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, CA
June 2018 Solo Exhibition
“Stitch and Bitch” Hudson Valley Center For Contemporary Art, Peekskill NY
September 2018 Group Exhibition
“Up Close and Personal” The Edward J and Helen Jane Morrison Gallery at The University of Minnesota, Morris, MN
October 2018 Solo Exhibition
“I’ve Got The World On A String” The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro VT