"Most artists have clear signs on their shop windows as you stroll past on the street: Digital Photographer; Conceptual Sculptor; Plein Air Painter. There's no sign on Couzens's building. Despite a long and celebrated career Couzens does not have a signature style; she's worked with drawing, sculpture, installation, painting in myriad ways. Like many artists today, she uses whatever medium helps her best solve the problem on which she is working. To some extent she could also be considered an artists's artist. That is, she has the respect of her peers, and students, and a circle of collectors for her consistently intelligent and rigorous body of work, but a wider general public is less aware of her work than would be expected given the level of professional esteem in which her work is held. The status of not having a signature style and being an artist's artist is not a comfortable one. It contains an inherent mixed-message that is a formula for discontent. Many artists fall into that category because they make work that: entails skills that are hard to appreciate by non-practitioners; is dry, esoteric or plain; is particularly hard to live with for collectors; demonstrates a breakthrough insight that is not yet understood outside the world of artists; or is of great subtlety…In all cases the language of the message is clear: you're in the presence of a rigorous and not uncourageous artist in her prime."
Renny Pritikin is a independent curator. He was Formerly the director of the Richard L. Nelson Gallery and The Fine Arts Collection at UC Davis. Before that he was the chief curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. He has taught in the graduate program in curatorial practice at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, since its inception in 2003.