In the 1930’s the French Surrealist painter Andre Masson described his method of working in a conversation with Henri Matisse.
I begin without an image or plan in mind, but just draw or paint rapidly according to my impulses. Gradually, in the marks I make, I see suggestions of figures or objects. I encourage these to emerge, trying to bring out their implications even as I now consciously try to give order to the composition.
Sybil Cohos is an artist who in her own approach to painting remains faithful to the central idea of automatic intuitive gesture, and thus to the legacy of surrealist influence on abstract art.
Whether vibrant and joyously colourful or darkly brooding and imbued with strong emotion, her canvases, collages and works on paper use ambiguity as a poetic device; colour and form dissolve into an expressionist sense of organic fantasy. Experiences of a rich and eventful life not without personal drama and extensive travels around the world are the sources of her inspiration.
Sybil Cohos was born in Ottawa. As a young woman she moved to Montreal where she studied painting, interior design and art history. In the 1970’s she became involved in the vibrant Montreal arts community. She continued her studies at the Sadie Bronfman School of Fine Arts and, over the years, participated in advanced workshops in Canada, the United States and Europe. She has exhibited her work in group and solo shows in Montreal and Toronto.
Sybil’s first solo exhibition took place in Toronto in 1983, and was followed by two solo shows (1991 and 1992) at Galerie Jaune, Montreal. In 1992 she was interviewed by the National Film Board of Canada as part of a documentary on the “exodus” from Quebec.
Sybil has exhibited her work in many shows in Montreal and Toronto. In October 1998 she won first prize in acrylics at the Art Focus, Toronto Indoor Show. Her recent watercolours and works on canvas were shown at Galerie 401 Richmond and “Fusings” at the Academy of Spherical Arts, Toronto.
Sybil’s continually evolving works are included in private and corporate collections in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Great Britain.