New York


Pathways Toward Abstraction

For the four decades that Larry Horowitz has been exhibiting landscapes, he has always had an opening presented in the art. A sliver of Hans Hoffman’s push-pull technique from Abstract Expressionism emerges, or an unfinished passage that evokes the classic understatement of Winslow Homer’s majestic ocean as overarching natural form. These elements delightfully conjure up a language less representational and more anchored in the subjective language of the abstract, of Matisse and Mondrian and Diebenkorn and Pollock.

The effusive coloristic effects in Horowitz’ paintings are stunning. Like Kandinsky, Horowitz cannot resist the Clang of yellow and the spiritualism of blue’s symbolic tones. True Romantic that he is in his paintings, the emotional supersedes the cool and the rational; as Marcia Gay Harden noted, “Horowitz makes poetry with paint.” Abstract art began to invade painting as soon as artists realized that as hard as they tried to paint nature, the colors they set down were the stuff of their own mind’s eye. In Western art history, the break from the notion that a painting had to represent something happened in the early 20th century; Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and other art movements of the time all contributed by breaking the "rules" of art followed since the Renaissance.

Impressionism saw painters not "finishing" their paintings. One critic noted that if this trend continued, paintings would eventually consist of nothing but "two broadly brushed areas of color.”

The Fauvists used color in a non-realistic way. Matisse was viewed as a Fauvist and his celebration of bright colors reached its peak in 1917 when he began to spend time on the French Riviera. Here he concentrated on reflecting the sensual color of his surroundings and completed some of his most exciting paintings. Matisse then moved on to an experimental period, abandoning three-dimensional effects in favor of dramatically simplified areas of pure color, flat shape, and strong pattern. Cubism introduced the idea of painting an object from more than one viewpoint. From all of these, the idea developed that color, line, form, and texture could be the "subject" of the painting. Abstract Expressionism, which emerged in the 1940s, applied the principles of Expressionism to abstract painting. The action painting of Jackson Pollock, in which paint was dripped, dropped, smeared, spattered, or thrown on the canvas, is a good example.

Larry Horowitz brings his relationship with places and times of day to bear in all of his paintings and by doing this he ultimately reveals his inner layers. In this way he transcends the simple 2-dimensional plane of the canvas and brings to the surface pathways toward abstraction.

Leslie Lund, Curator, Franklin Bowles Galleries, New York