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A Retrospective

With over two hundred and fifty images, many never before published, Frame is the first career retrospective of quintessential street photographer Mark Cohen, whose hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, provided the subject of gritty visual poetry.

"Mr. Cohen’s pictures are remarkable.”

Wall Street Journal

October 2015
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304 pages | 9.5 x 10.5 | 36 color and 221 duotone photos |

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Mark Cohen is the quintessential street photographer, using an aggressive approach in which he closes in on strangers with a camera and flash before they’re aware of being photographed. His stark images made on the streets of Wilkes-Barre and other working-class Pennsylvania towns capture moments, gestures, and emotions that, because they might be invisible to others’ sensibilities, testify to Cohen’s innately superior perception, his gift of precise and ingenious visual ordering. His work received early recognition, with a one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1973 when he was just thirty, and it has garnered critical acclaim ever since. Today, Cohen’s work is held in over thirty prominent international collections, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum in New York City to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

Frame is the first retrospective of Mark Cohen’s career. It presents over two hundred and fifty images, about one hundred of which have never been published, and includes work from Spain, Ireland, England, Italy, and Mexico, as well as America. The book showcases both the black-and-white photography for which Cohen is best known and his occasional forays into color. Cohen himself sequenced the images, and their rhythm and sometimes surprising juxtapositions reveal an eloquence and depth of artistry beyond anything seen in his previous publications. Curator and art historian Jane Livingston, who has known Cohen throughout his career, provides an introduction that places his work within the tradition of street photography, while also celebrating the elusive qualities that set it apart from anyone else working in the genre.


New York Book Show Second Place Award in Photography - Special Trade

  • Introduction, by Jane Livingston
  • Plates
  • Solo Exhibitions
  • Select Group Exhibitions
  • Awards
  • Public Collections
  • Lectures and Teaching
  • Select Bibliography

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cohen’s photography is in many major collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the George Eastman House, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He has published three previous books—Grim Street, True Color, and Dark Knees—and his work has been included in over eighty individual and group exhibitions.


“There is no denying the power of Mark Cohen's photographs. The publication of Frame makes this more obvious than ever before.”

“Mr. Cohen’s pictures are remarkable.”
Wall Street Journal

“This is small-town America in all its everyday normality and oddness, beautifully observed and full of telling details, unfolding to a rhythm that is all his own. It makes you realise that street photographer is too reductive a term for what Cohen does when he photographs on the streets.”
The Guardian

“With Frame, Mark Cohen’s images get the sophisticated repository they deserve. The design of the volume and the selection of images is exemplary. It has set the bar from which retrospectives will be judged from this point on.”
Street Hunters

“This book is the definitive Mark Cohen. A masterful and superbly curated collection.”
Huffington Post Arts & Culture

“[Frame's images] rhythm and sometimes surprising juxtapositions reveal an eloquence and artistic depth that surpass his previous publications. ”

“Cohen is not only a street photographer capturing unexpected moments, but also a master of timing and composition; each frame becomes a powerful visual essay . . . [A]n expertly curated overview of Cohen’s career. It’s a heartfelt book, well laid out and beautifully printed — an important volume for anyone who loves street photography and unusual perspectives.”
Photographer's Forum