Born in Brooklyn, New York. After completing a B.S. at New York University he studied at The New York Studio School in 1969 with Philip Guston.
James Bohary continues to be influenced by locations he has lived and worked in: New York City, upstate New York, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Newfoundland, Canada. His thickly painted abstract paintings are informed by these diverse surroundings. Bohary lets different aspects of these locations shape his imagination; the movements of whales, ice bergs that are15,000 years old, the ancient tree fern, the constant movement of urban centers, or the reflection of light on a slow moving river. Each painting is specific and has its own time, place, and temperature. The gesture and color emerge from layers of observation, reflection, intuition and experience. In addition to brushes Bohary uses a palette knife & kitchen spatulas to create an expressive and unpremeditated surface, a complex topography. His brilliant chromatic inventions use lush, turbulent colors in sometimes disconcerting combinations. Bohary's painting have a raw energy and sense of daring improvisation that give them the feeling that nothing has been held back. The use of patterns found in traditional African and Indonesian art forms have had a significant impact on Bohary's handling of materials and use of imagery.
James Bohary has exhibited extensively since 1971 in the United States, Europe, and Canada. His awards include a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant, NEA Grant, American Academy and Institute ofArts and Letters Award and numerous awards from the National Academy including the Ranger Purchase Prize. His work is included in numerous collections including the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Hood Museum; The Jacksonville Museum of Art; the Weatherspoon Art Center; the Wellesley College Museum; the McNay Museum; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Indiana University Art Museum; the Snite Museum of Notre Dame University.
He was elected as a Full Member of the National Academy in 1994 and has been a member of the Academy's Council and School Committee.
He is presently a Professor of Studio Art at Binghamton University and has also taught at Dartmouth College, Parsons, Purchase, Queens College, and conducted Master Classes at the National Academy School of Fine Arts.