Marc Horowitz – “Diagrams for Living”

Marc Horowitz – Diagrams for Living
Social Distancing Reception: November 12th, 2020, 3 – 8 pm
No Gallery – 961 Chung King Rd Los Angeles CA 90012

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No Gallery is pleased to present Diagrams for Living, an exhibition of paintings, collages, and video work from Marc Horowitz. The first room of the gallery is occupied by new paintings completed in Los Angeles during quarantine. The second room hosts collage works on paper and collage-like video culled from the artist’s vast archive of personal footage gathered throughout pre-pandemic travels.

Horowitz’s sprawling practice reflects his fidelity to both the artist’s call to exploration and the comedian’s embrace of failure. He packs his joke bag with the painterly gestures of Modernism, gussied up in the bold colorways of Pop and commercialism, then throws in a rubber chicken or some chattering teeth, for luck. Optimism is the chaotic element that suspends his pictures somewhere between silliness and gravitas, creating complex psychological events that aren’t a total bummer to look at. The optical push-pull of his canvases create a tension that every so often gives way to little rest stops for the eye—a sturdy swipe of black has the groundedness of a shadow, green lines cohere into the image of a leafy stem, and somewhere off to the side, there is place to sit. His maelstroms of color are fueled less by impersonal forces like weather than by things like the radial energy of a firework, the velocity of silly string as it bursts forth from the can. The action of the paintings float in the middle of the picture plane like a cloud that emerges from two cartoons fighting—only here the row is between reason and doubt, chance versus strategy.

The video, titled level set deep dive circle back, is an enigmatic stroll through the periphery of Horowitz’s visual landscape, stitching together bits of moving images to bring forth their formal qualities. It’s a reverse process from the paintings, which allow images to emerge from gestures.

Abstract realism goes both ways, honey.

The collage works read like funhouse codas for the themes embedded in the paintings—they never resort to explanation though, only the flowering of possibility. A vintage black-and-white photograph jockeys for attention with daubs of oilstick. A spidery scribble outlines the formula for the speed of time, only to peter off into the edge of a touristy postcard.

The mercurial nature of these works undermines the doctrinal pulse of a title like Diagrams For Living. Can a painting really tell us how to live? Sure. But only because it fails to say so.

MARC HOROWITZ (b. 1976, Columbus, OH) is a Los Angeles-based artist working across painting, performance, video, photography, and social practice. Recent exhibitions include: Ever Gold [Projects] San Francisco, California; Jonathan Hopson, Houston; Johannes Vogt, New York; Bank Gallery, Shanghai; COMA Gallery, Sydney, Australia; Mannerheim Gallery, Paris; China Art Objects, Los Angeles; and the Depart Foundation, Los Angeles. A Creative Time Project Grant Awardee, Horowitz has taught at the University of Southern California, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Otis College, and lectured at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), the Hammer Museum, Stanford University, and Yale.