Merlin Cohen

“As a young man, I had the fortune to live in Europe, where I toured the Carrera quarries and the great museums of Italy and France. I was drawn to the sensual, warm curves released from the hard, cool stones by the masters of carving. I chose direct stone carving as my art venue, as it allows the liberation from nature my perception of the form within the rock.”

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Merlin Cohen

From: Tucson, AZ | Medium: Stone Sculpture

Merlin L. Cohen retired from his full time dental practice in 1992 to pursue his interest in sculpture. It is an acute attention to detail that made Merlin a successful dentist and has led to his popularity as an artist. Merlin was born in Memphis, TN in 1937.

Merlin studied sculpting under the personal instruction of recognized sculptor Ralph Hurst, then Sculptor-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee-Martin, from 1989 to 1992. He has also studied at the Montoya/MAS Famous Sculptors Seminar and annually attends the Marble Institute of Colorado to carve marble and study.

Broceliande is the mythical forest where Merlin the wizard was encased in stone. As in those legendary times, today Merlin Cohen strives to unlock magical power and beauty  stored within the rock. His sculpture invites your touch to discover the cool soothing powers of the stone; and it invites your eye to enjoy the aesthetic design created by his deft hands.

Merlin sculpts for his own pleasure and by the commission of special pieces for special places. He works primarily in stone with pieces ranging in size from tabletop art to monumental and landscape features. His art is enjoyed in private and public collections worldwide and has been featured in local, regional, and national publications.

He was the featured artist for the June 2002 issue of Sculpture Journal, and has been featured on the Accent page of the Arizona Daily Star and on Tucson Channel 12’s Sonoran show in 2005 and 2006, he has been invited to participate in the 2007 through 2014 shows. In 2007 he was recognized with the Industry Award in the Sculpture Only Competition held by Sculptural Pursuit magazine. Also in 2007, he was juried into the Royal British Society of Sculptors.  In 2012 he installed “Berceuse” in the Sculpture Garden of the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Merlin is presently serving as President, Board of Trustees,Tucson Museum of Art and is Chair of the Tucson Jewish Community Center Sculpture Garden. .

Merlin Cohen

Collection & Exhibits

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
Paul Ash Management Co., Tucson, Arizona
Keeling Neighborhood Park, Tucson, Arizona

Artist Statement

“As a young man, I had the fortune to live in Europe, where I toured the Carrera quarries and the great museums of Italy and France. I was drawn to the sensual, warm curves released from the hard, cool stones by the masters of carving. I chose direct stone carving as my art venue, as it allows the liberation from nature my perception of the form within the rock. My personal challenge is to release form from stone and elicit emotions of pleasure and peace for the viewer.”

Through Broceliande lies the way from earth to heaven. – C. S. Lewis

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