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."
Born in 1930 in New York City, Cole’s work has deep roots in the Abstract Expressionist movement that surrounded him as a youth. As his art career gained momentum in the 1970s amidst the Pop Art and Minimalist movements, Cole explored independent directions in abstraction. Rejecting artwork that responded only to formal concerns or trends, Cole expressed political and cultural content through color, brushstroke, and texture.
Cole is the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including two from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his work has been exhibited abroad through the Art in Embassies program of the U.S. State Department. His work has been covered in publications and papers including Art Forum, Art Magazine, the Seattle Times, and many others.
He has exhibited at galleries and museums including the Worcester Museum of Art (MA); Indianapolis Museum of Art (IN); Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA); Nassau Museum of Fine Arts (NY); the State University of New York (NY) and Tacoma Art Museum (WA). Cole’s work is in a number of private and public collections including the Portland Art Museum (OR); Worcester Art Museum (MA); Chase Manhattan Bank (NY); Harris Bank (IL) and the ARCO Center for the Visual Arts (CA).