"I am interested in the unspoken, unseen — that which lays beneath the surface.  I want the viewer to have their field of vision filled by the painting, to experience that sense of wonder one has when immersed in a world which is usually hidden to the eye." — Claire B. Cotts



Claire B. Cotts is known for her richly layered abstractions that visually blend the forces of disorder and entropy with balance and structure to create pieces of arresting beauty. Using a colorful, yet muted palette, her paintings inhabit a space between texture and rhythm, between form and motion.


She uses a process of accretion to slowly build up her surfaces so that the elements are integrated, almost imperceptibly, into complex compositions that resonate with organic shapes and fragmentary bits of memory.


Originally from Atlanta, Cotts lives and works in Berkeley, California. She studied art at Oberlin College, received her MFA from University of California at Berkeley, and received a Fulbright to study art in Turkey in 1994. Cotts has been exhibiting her distinctive, richly layered figurative and abstract canvases for over twenty-five years, and has been a member of the SFMOMA Artists' Gallery since 1989.


Her work has been exhibited in the following California museums: the Berkeley University Art Museum; the San Francisco Jewish Museum; the California Museum of Art in Santa Rosa; the Mocha in Oakland; and the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Her paintings are also found in numerous private and corporate collections.