Salon 94 now represents Jonathan Horowitz

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Salon 94 now represents Jonathan Horowitz
Installation view of We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz at The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo: Thomas Müller.

NEW YORK, NY.- Salon 94 announced its representation of Jonathan Horowitz.

Wearing many hats—visual artist, curator, researcher, activist—Horowitz has forged a critically engaged art practice that is accessible, empathetic, and intersectional.

Over the past three decades, Horowitz’s work has rigorously probed some of the most pressing issues of our time, as well as subjects of deep personal significance. Whether addressing LGBTQIA visibility or the struggle for Civil Rights, the rise of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism to our individual responsibility in the environmental crisis, Horowitz combines commanding aesthetic force and visual intelligence in all of his endeavors. Horowitz fluently and interchangeably works in photography, video, installation, sculpture, and painting—employing the most effective medium to serve his given subject or project.

From his early, structuralist video works of the early 1990s to his ambitious curatorial endeavors such as his current Jewish Museum exhibition We Fight to Build a Free World, Jonathan Horowitz’s art effectively communicates. “Jonathan stands out for his emphatic and clear intellectual voice in New York,” states Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Founder of Salon 94. “His urgent, exacting and provocative Jewish Museum show compels us to find our common humanity and to bridge our differences. We stand in solidarity with the political and social causes that Jonathan has fought for over the years and we look forward to supporting his multifaceted activities.”

Horowitz has distinguished himself from his peers through his singular ability to convey complex ideas about our contemporary culture, politics, celebrity, and consumerism. His heterogeneous art practice has avoided the demagogic trappings that make much of today’s self-styled political art formally drab or pedantic. To the contrary, Horowitz successfully merges the rigorous legacy of conceptualism with the seductive strategies of Pop and appropriation—injecting his own sharp humor into this mix. He has uniquely harnessed the beguiling power of Hollywood to produce an exacting yet still pleasurable analysis of the mass media circus. Horowitz’s work pinpoints certain celebrities and their causes célèbres—distilling moments of genuine pathos or revelatory symbolism embedded within our spectacle culture. Some of his most iconic works feature a pantheon of larger-than-life protagonists—Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda, Michael Jackson, and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few. These media creatures are not just Pop icons; in Horowitz’s hands they become mirrors of contradiction and American excess.

In more recent years, Horowitz has applied his signature conceptualism to the charged history of painting as a vehicle for ideas around human struggle, expression, and individuality. Art history served as a jumping off point for his series of Roy Lichtenstein Mirror paintings (2005–16). In 2012, Horowitz enlisted twenty-four other people (as well as himself) to create a self-portrait based on Lichtenstein’s Mirror #1(1969). Unlike the direct appropriation of his mass mediabased works, these paintings amplify the unique, handmade marks created by each person who engaged in the “copying by eye” project. Countering Lichtenstein’s original intent in which the Ben-Day dot mirrors suggested the erasure of the artist’s hand (as well as the individual) in the age of Pop, Horowitz’s mirrors emphasize the human and subjective nature of mark making. With his subsequent series of participatory Dot (2013–2017) paintings, Horowitz further demystified the auratic status of Modernist painting while simultaneously foregrounding subjective authorship. Horowitz invited several hundred people to each paint a solid black dot of a certain dimension on a square canvas—despite the uniform instructions, each dot differed in shape, size, and texture. When hung together in a giant grid, the Dot paintings conjure Pop’s romance with the Benday raster print not as a celebration of mechanical reproduction, but as the imprint of unique human identities. In his most recent painting series entitled Leftover Paint Abstractions(2018–present), Horowitz asked fellow artists to give him their discarded paint, allowing him to recycle their surplus materials to create nonrepresentational paintings in which the raw linen ground becomes like a landfill for a lush, optical field of color. Combining Horowitz’s longstanding environmental advocacy with sly art historical quotation, these Leftover Paint Abstractions evoke a range of styles from Pointillism to Abstract Expressionism.

Across the entire arc of his practice, Horowitz is able to transform the legacies of Pop and Conceptualism into a vision of art that is both accessible and empathetic. Similarly, his curatorial projects foreground the humanism required in the struggle for human rights—something that was often obscured by late twentieth century art. — Alison M. Gingeras, 2020

Salon 94 will join Sadie Coles HQ in London, Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, and Galerie Barbara Weiss in Berlin in representing Horowitz’s work internationally.

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