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Acrylic on canvas
30.5" x 19"
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“The appearance and content of my work comes from several sources: the joy of painting and creating, and my own social, psychological and ethical response to the world as I live and view it.”

"My youthful experience in the military in Korea and Japan had the effect of clarifying deep feelings against war and prejudice, while at the same time exposing me to the wonders of Asia’s arts and cultures.

My work first appeared on the New York art scene in 1969. I was exploring ways to expand the expressive possibilities of Abstract Expressionism by incorporating signs and images into an abstract matrix from many sources: the major concerns of our times, my personal world, the world of art, and my time in the studio as a working artist.

And in the last 15 years, extensive travel in Asia where one is bombarded by complex layers of forms and colors and by the many creative expressions of spirituality that pervade Asian life, especially in India. There are the effects of time and weather on the walls. There are signs and symbols and shrines. They affect the content that give my formal concerns a human and caring presence."

Donald Cole’s bright colors and weathered surfaces are hallmarks of his work, but each painting is purposefully a technical departure from the next, alluding to the artist’s desire to continually push his own boundaries. Cole playfully explores the possibilities of materials to express the experience of beholding the awe inspiring world. Cole reflects, “the appearance and the content of my work comes from several sources: the joy of painting and creating, and my own social, psychological and ethical responses to the world as I live and view it.”

Donald Cole was born in New York City and currently lives on Vashon Island. His painting career emerged in the 1960s as he combined the experience of studying painting in the artistic hotbed of New York, a love for the emotive possibilities of abstract expressionist painting, and a resonance with the colors and textures of the non-Western world. He has been awarded multiple awards and grants, including two grants from the NEA. While exhibiting regularly on the East Coast, Cole also taught painting in Japan and Israel before settling in his current home on Vashon Island. Cole still travels regularly to gain inspiration for his artwork.

He has exhibited in New York at 55 Mercer Gallery, French & Co., the Nancy Hoffman Gallery and the Frank Marino Gallery. Since settling in the Pacific Northwest he has shown at galleries including Foster/White Gallery, the Jeffrey Moose Gallery, ArtXchange Gallery and Gallery 070 on Vashon. He has participated in Tacoma Art Museum biennials and his work is in a number of private and public collections including the Portland Art Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, and the ARCO Center for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles. Download Don Cole's Artist  Bio

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