Lesley Cohen

Drawing the line in Duxbury

“ Fortified’’ (charcoal and pastel), by Lesley Cohen, in the group show “Draw the Line,’’ at the Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, Mass., Sept. 15-Jan 12.

Fortified’’ (charcoal and pastel), by Lesley Cohen, in the group show “Draw the Line,’’ at the Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, Mass., Sept. 15-Jan 12.

In Duxbury, view of Bluefish River inlet, with “King Caesar House’’ at left. The Federal-style mansion was built in 1809 for Ezra Weston, a well known shipbuilder and merchant nicknamed King Caesar for his influence and prosperity.    — Photo by Ruth W. Demby

In Duxbury, view of Bluefish River inlet, with “King Caesar House’’ at left. The Federal-style mansion was built in 1809 for Ezra Weston, a well known shipbuilder and merchant nicknamed King Caesar for his influence and prosperity.

— Photo by Ruth W. Demby

Memories in charcoal and chalk

  cohen

"Detached Attachment'' (charcoal and chalk pastel), by LESLEY COHEN, in her  "Presence and Absence'' show at  the Bromfield Gallery, Boston, through May 31.

The gallery notes say:

"It's been proven: the more you remember something -- from memory that is -- the less accurate that memory becomes.''

In the show, Ms. Cohen explores her interpretations of childhood memories. She says:

"Thinking about them for years or decades has changed my memory of them and has maybe even changed the significance of the events themselves.''

Her drawings, the gallery says, "conceal these ambiguous incidents in an abstract vocabulary of time and space, exposing while still protecting these memories.''

Dripping with the past

cohen "Silent Serenade'' (charcoal and chalk pastel), by LESLEY COHEN, in her "Presence and Absence'' show, April 29-May 31, at the Bromfield Galllery, Boston. She explores memories of childhood in her work.

It's  curious how some of those memories, especially the bad ones, get stronger as one goes deeper into old age. I think of this as I look across from the patio here in Los Angeles to a yellow, parched, steep hillside with $2 million houses teetering at the top and flocks of gray parrots swooping in on palms with excessive force.

My memories of New England are usually of wet and cold, as it was  here in LA  of all places yesterday. So the line from the "The Lady Is Tramp,'' by Rodgers and Hart, can be accurate briefly:

Hates California, it's cold and it's damp.

That's why the lady is a tramp.

-- Robert Whitcomb