Harold Cohen was born in 1928 in London. After his National Service in the RAF, he studied painting at the Slade School of Fine Art, London 1948-52. He was awarded the Abbey Travelling Scholarship and spent six months working in Italy. Cohen’s first one-man show was at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 1951 and his first solo London show was at Gimpel Fils in 1954. Cohen spent the years 1959 - 61 in the U.S. on a fellowship and whilst there an exhibition of his work was shown at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York. Back in London in 1962 he taught at the Slade School.
In 1966 the artist exhibited at the British Pavilion in the Venice Biennale (with his brother Bernard Cohen); at Documenta 3; the Paris Biennale; the Carnegie International and many other exhibitions. In 1968 he took up a Visiting Professorship at the University of California at San Diego which resulted in his settling there.
Cohen has been working on a computer programme since 1973, which he named AARON. The programme has created original 'freehand’ drawings at international art and science centres including the Tate Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Art and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.