Donald Cole's bright colors and weathered surfaces are hallmarks of his work, but each painting is purposefully a technical departure from the next, alluding to the artist's desire to continually push his own boundaries. Cole playfully explores the possibilities of materials to express the experience of beholding the awe inspiring world. Cole reflects, "the appearance and the content of my work comes from several sources: the joy of painting and creating, and my own social, psychological and ethical responses to the world as I live and view it."
Donald Cole, born in New York City, currently lives on Vashon Island, WA. He began his painting career in the hotbed of creative innovation that was New York’s SOHO of the 1960’s. While Pop Art and Minimalism were in the forefront of the art scene then, Cole was a part of a group of young artists exploring independent directions in abstraction. It is there that he began his lifelong use of color and texture to explore both political and cultural context in his work and developed his interest in non-Western imagery. He is the recipient of multiple awards and grants, including two from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his work has been exhibited abroad through the Art in Embassies program of the U.S. State Department.
He has exhibited in New York at 55 Mercer, French & Co., Nancy Hoffman Gallery, and Frank Marino Gallery. Since settling in the Pacific Northwest, he has shown at galleries including Foster/White Gallery, Jeffrey Moose Gallery, ArtXchange Gallery and Gallery 070. He has participated in Tacoma Art Museum biennials and his work is in a number of private and public collections including the Portland Art Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, and the ARCO Center for the Visual Arts in Los Angeles.