Skip to content

Beloosesky Gallery is interested in purchasing paintings by Mirit Cohen
Please call (917) 749-4557 or email us at


Manya Malka (later Mirit Cohen) Born in Uzbekistan in 1945, then part of the former Soviet republic, Mirit Cohen created non-objective pencil on paper drawings that convey networks of nerves or dense galaxies. Many of her works suggest a frantic effort to fill the page.

She was born to a socialist and Zionist family of Jewish background and had a tumultuous childhood of living for years as a displaced person in camps until her family was admitted to Israel. Her father, Haim Cohen, a Polish Jew, was born in Lodz, and fled during the Second World War to Russia, where he met her mother Rebecca. After the war, her family immigrated to Mandatory Palestine. They were deported to a detention camp in Cyprus. In 1948, after the establishment of Israel, the family settled in Givat Shmuel.

In 1956 Cohen was sent to study at Kibbutz Kfar Masaryk. In 1958 she won a youth drawing competition in Japan. Three years later, Cohen moved back with her parents and began attending high school in Bnei Brak. During this period she became active in the Communist youth movement in Petah Tikva. For her last years in high school she attended Hadash High School in Tel Aviv. 

After her military service, Cohen worked as a clerk in the Israel Export Institute in the textile and fashion department. In 1968 she studied at the Avni Institute of Art and Design with Yehezkel Streichman. In 1969 she enrolled at the "Midrasha" drawing and art school in Tel Aviv.

In the 1970s, she came to New York, which was her most productive time, but the lack of acceptance she perceived there caused her mental deterioration 

In 1972 Cohen had her first exhibition at Dugit Gallery in Tel Aviv. In 1974 the Israeli curator Yona Fisher bought some of her works for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. In the spring of 1975 Cohen won a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. With the help of this scholarship she studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1975 - 1977, after which she continued to live in the United States.

In the early 1980s she was briefly married to Michael Dissent. Under the influence of LSD Cohen experienced a psychotic attack and was hospitalized in Bat Yam.

In her last decade, the 1990s, she wrote poetry as well as continued her artwork. In 1990 Cohen died by suicide, buying a bunch of flowers and jumping off a building in New York. She was buried in the Jewish cemetery in the borough of Queens.



2000     Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA.

1999     Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York City, USA.

1998     Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany. (Published a Catalogue)

1994     The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.

1991     La MaMa Gallery, New York City, USA.

1982     "Woman with Cooper Snakes," Live Performance Sculpture, Soho, New York City, USA.

1980-81 "Cooper Bridges," "From Fire Escape to Fire Escape", Site Sculpture, Union Square and Cooper Square, New York City, USA.

1979      "The Broken Vessels Project", PS 1, New York City, USA.

1978      "Broken Vessels", Julie M. Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

1977-78 "Metal, Mental, Melted, Metal", Sculpture Installation, Clock Tower, New York City, USA.

1972-73  Dugit Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel.



1995       Ministry of Culture and Education, Museums and Visual Arts Dep., Israel

1978       Con Edison Artist in Residence Program, NY

1975-77 American Israel Cultural Foundation. Art and Urban Resources, New York City

1969-71 Sharet Grant. Pnina Mandleblit Fund, Israel



Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Israeli Consulate, Washington D.C.

The Walker Art Center Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

The Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany




Biography from the Archives of AskART