Made In L.A. is coming to the Hammer on June 2 and will showcase sixty emerging, under-recognized Los Angeles artists–one of which will be voted to win a $100,000 prize. In order to help you make an educated vote this summer, we’re counting down to Made In L.A. by showcasing each artist participating in the biennial.
Channa Horwitz is a multidisciplinary artist who works within a very specific field, one in which she made up herself that consists of very complex math, grids, and lines. She is a conceptual artist whose work is quite dense–but quite beautiful.
Horwitz has been at work on her art for over forty years, actually coming in as the eldest participant in Made In L.A. at 79 years old. She’s quite an under recognized artist who, up until recent years, hasn’t received the proper acclaim she deserved. Horwitz flirted on and off with art through the fifties, dipping in and out of school and studying as she worked as a housewife. She became fascinated with color and shapes, which she reduced to their simplest form working from graph paper of eight by eight squares. These squares and graphs served as her template, from which she discovered her own language where she could express movement and sound and other “non-visual” concepts by shifting the squares through drawing across the grid. She eventually started to call her work Sonakinatography, “which means sound-motion-notation.”
The work of Horwitz looks simple: lines on squares, graphed points from some scientific something or other. But, she is expressing concepts that she’s made herself and has been slaving over for years, between being a mother and wife. In Sonakinatography #1, Movement #3 above, the piece shows a very complex movement of color, like a prism laid flat and deconstructed into two dimensions. This piece is a perfect example of her thought process–and is from 1969. Her current work has reissued her ideas on different scales, painted on walls and without grids or with a grid that is even deconstructed itself. Horwitz is a genius in art and math and, after nearly fifty years of working within this vocabulary she has created, her grid is practically everywhere as sound and motion is everywhere–she is just able to express it in two dimensions and three dimensions, marrying the balance and frustrations of circles and squares and lines.
Horwitz’s story is incredibly fascinating and is one of those artists who had to express whether people liked it or not. As she said in an interview with Artnet, “I thought that my work would be appreciated after I died. I knew that my work was important–because I work in truth, my work is honest.” We’re excited to see her complex geometries brought to the show even though we are well aware that most people will not be able to grasp what she is expressing–we’re not even sure we will be able to! Read more about Horwitz here and, please, give this woman all the attention you can: she’s literally worked her entire life to get here!