His Jewish background forced him to flee Europe in 1940. He spent the war years in New York and met many other exiled European artists including Ossip Zadkine and Jacques Lipchitz. He also met the sculptress Pearl Perlmutter, with whom
he married. After the war he returned to the Netherlands and developed a powerful expressionist style. His works immediately after the war were figurative, but gradually developed into abstract expressions of hope, despair, love, liberation and oppression, partly inspired by a visit to Auschwitz. His works became more open in form, the expression amplified by a sense of space and dynamism.
Couzijn lived and worked in Amsterdam until 1970, and thereafter in Amstelveen. He produced an impressive and highly respected oeuvre and won numerous prizes including the David Röell Prize in 1966 for his entire oeuvre and the Dutch State Prize for Sculpture in 1967. His work was exhibited at the Venice Biennale and is included in numerous public and private collections. Couzijn died in Haarlem in 1984 at the age of seventy-one.