Paul Cowan

Born 1985, Kansas City, USA
Lives and works Los Angeles, CA


2012    MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago
2007    BFA, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Solo Exhibitions 

Michael Jon Gallery, Miami, FL
Dennis Kimmerich, Berlin, Germany
L21, Madrid, Spain

Clifton Benevento, New York, NY
Some Rehearsals, Green Gallery , Milwaukee, WI
Jonathan Viner, London, UK

Pallarel Procssieng, Shane Campbell, Chicago, IL
Paarllel Pocressing, Young Art, Los Angeles, CA

MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL
Did not want to [—?—] his [—?—] of [—?—].,Clifton Benevento, New York, NY
New Work, Michael Jon Gallery, Miami, FL
New Work, Important Projects, Oakland, CA

New Work, Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park, IL
In Medias Res, 1dM, Chicago, IL
Caesurian Complex, Young Art, Los Angeles, CA
Breaking The Law, Alderman Exhibitions, Chicago, IL

Alla Prima, Golden Age, Chicago, IL
Existence Value, Roots & Culture, Chicago, IL

Muse About Certain Motifs, SUNY Purchase College/Bulletin Board Program, Purchase, NY
Existence Value, Jettison Space, Chicago, IL
You Can Build A House, with Scott Cowan/Katy Keefe, The Pigeon Wing, London, UK
At Them Not Through Them w/ Michael Hunter, Knock Knock Gallery, Chicago, IL

Group Exhibitions

173 E 94th St. / Chaussée de Waterloo 550, Middlemarch, Brussels, Belgium
Paul Cowan, Jeff Eaton, David Elliott, Sean Keenan
, City Ice Arts, Kansas City, MO
Duck Soup, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, Sweden
The Next Level, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, Italy
La Chose En Cadrée, SWG3 Gallery, Glasgow, UK

Comrades of Time, Cell Projects Space, London, UK
A Study in Midwestern Appropriation, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
Group Show, ReMap, Athens Greece
Paul Cowan, Brendan Fowler, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
Wassup Painters, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Why Is Everything The Same?, Shoot The Lobster, New York, NY
Group Show, 247365, Brooklyn, NY
Very New Works, DUVE Gallery, Berlin Germany
P&Co., Thomas Duncan Gallery, L.A., CA

Persistence of Vision, Kavi Gupta, Berlin, Germany
Everyday Abstract – Abstract Everyday, James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY
First Among Equals, (w/Alex Da Corte), ICA, Philadelphia, PA
New Work, (w/Sam Falls), Manifest Exhibitions, Chicago, IL
Phantom Limb, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Mise-En-Scéne, Young Art, Los Angeles, CA
Hello? I Forgot My Mantra, Clifton Benevento, New York, NY

Cocktails, (w/pplsft) Bodega, Philadelphia, PA
Straw – curated by Erik Lindman, Hannah Barry Gallery, London, UK
Wax Apple, Bodega, Philadelphia, PA
The New New Chicagoans, Co-Prosperity, Chicago, IL
Three Card Monte w/ Martine Syms & Marco Braunschweiler, Green Gallery, Milwaukee WI
Group Show, (w/Amy Yao & Cameron Soren), Jancar Jones, San Francisco, CA

Permanent Collection, White Flags, with Golden Age, St. Louis, MO
Permanent Collection, Important Projects, with Golden Age, Oakland, CA
The Corridor to Success, The Composing Rooms, London, UK
Bad Sculpture w/ Hugh Scott-Douglas and Maxwell Simmer, Young Art, Los Angeles, CA
New Paintings, Next Fair / Art Chicago with Proximity Magazine, Chicago, IL
Holiday Primetime In May, Primetime, Brooklyn, NY
Agency at Agency, The Agency, London, UK
Kingsboro Presents, West Street Gallery, New York, NY
When did you begin calling yourself… with Scott Cowan, Important Projects, Oakland, CA
Causality Without Cause, (w/Matt Stolle), Devening Projects, Chicago, IL

Semi-Automatic, Interview Magazine / Mondrian Hotel, Miami, FL
Brâncuşi, Moore and Swayze, Project Space, Toronto, ON
Reconnection: New Sculpture and Painting, Alumni Exhibit, MIAD, Milwaukee, WI
Art Chicago / Next Fair, with Scott Projects, Chicago, IL
Either Both/And Or Neither/Nor, with Scott Cowan, Scott ProjectsChicago, IL

Poster Market International, The Suburban, Oak Park, IL
Tomorrow, Vega Estates, Chicago, IL
Poster Market International, Blank Space, New York, NY

You Can Depend On The Sunrise, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
Would You Know My Name If…, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI


“Paul Cowan, Clifton Benevento, ” Mousse Magazine online, December 4
“Paul Cowan at Clifton Benevento,” Cura Online, November
Jacob Proctor, “Paul Cowan, Shane Campbell Gallery,” Artforum, April, Vol. 52 No.8, p256/266
Stephanie Cristello, “Paul Cowan: Parallel Processing at Shane Campbell,” New American Paintings, January 14

Ryan E. Steadman, “Paul Cowan, Clifton Benevento,” Modern Painters, January, p69

Pablo Lauris, “Meet Chicago-based artist Paul Cowan,” Kaleidoscope, Issue 17, p.142
Christopher Y. Lew, “Paul Cowan at MCA Chicago,” Mousse Magazine, Issue 35, October 12, p.168-170
“Paul Cowan at Clifton Benevento,”, October
Monica Westin, “Meet Paul Cowan: Short Circuits and Metaphors for Painting,”, August 20
Randall Miller, “Paul Cowan, Brendan Fowler, Chadwick Rantanen, Dan Rees at Shane Campbell Gallery, ”, July 26
Julia Schaefer, “SoHo’s Art Revival,” Artlog, March 23, 2012
Hunter Braithwaite, “Paul Cowan, Michael Jon Gallery,” Critic’s Pick, Artforum, February 13

New Painting & Sculpture, Kingsboro Press, New York NY

The Music & The Wine
, (Book of Short Stories), First Edition of 100, Self Published

A ____ teaches us many things about ourselves as performers: how to begin from a place of simple yet energized presence, how to sustain the pleasure of playing in the moment, how to mine the power of doing one thing at a time, and above all, a _____ helps us accept our own unique ridiculousness, which in turn may transform our habits of restriction in to skills of open expression.

Clifton Benevento is pleased to present its second solo exhibition with Paul Cowan.

A large painted wall casually leans in the space. One side is infused with a bergamot essential oil and the other, a bergamot perfume oil.  The wall sets the stage for affect and effect.

A new series of white monochrome paintings, including Untitled (flower painting she crawled into), bear minimal trace of their interaction with the mimes that were invited to paint them. Seemingly blank and all alike, the paintings were produced with the same intention that we use to consume the work.  They rely on external forces by inviting viewers to use their unique set of visual vocabulary to conjure and sustain the images proposed by the titles.

Colorful bistro furniture extends the composition off the canvas and in to the space. One seat is intermittently held for Untitled (Man on phone #1). Completely mute yet full of conversation, a background actor carries on a silent conversation with someone somewhere else.

Taken as a workshop, the exhibition endeavors to displace content and audience by triggering an emotional dissonance so as to better understand our relationship with painting.

Paul Cowan (b.1985 Kansas City, KS) holds an MFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago and lives and works in Milwaukee, WI. Recent solo projects include Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI), Jonathan Viner (London, UK), Shane Campbell (Chicago, IL) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago) IL. Group exhibitions include Middlemarch (Brussels, Belgium), ‘The Next Level’, Annarumma Gallery (Naples, Italy), ‘Duck Soup’, Galerie Nordenhake (Stockholm, Sweden) and ‘Phantom Limb’, Museum of Contemporary Art, (Chicago, IL).

The exhibition will run from November 1 – December 20, 2014; opening reception is Saturday, November 1 from 5-7pm.  The gallery is located at 515 Broadway between Broome and Spring streets, New York, NY, and open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm.  For more information please contact Michael at 212-431-6325 or

“Paul Cowan at Clifton Benevento, New York.” Mousse Online. December 4, 2014.

“Paul Cowan”. Cura. November 2014.