Friday, December 4, 2009

Louis Lozowick

Louis Lozowick was born on December 10, 1892 in Ludvinovka, Ukraine, in the Russian Empire. He attended the Kiev Art School before coming to the United States in 1906. Here he continued his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York and at Ohio State University. From 1919 to 1924, Louis travelled throughout Europe, spending long periods of time in Paris, Berlin and Moscow, after which he started making his first lithographs. He eventually died in New Jersey in 1973.

Louis was known as an Art Deco and Precisionist artist, and mainly produced very streamlined lithographs of urban scenery. Through his travels in Europe, he became rather well versed in artistic developments there at that time which included Constructivism and de Stijl, also known as neoplasticism. This represented an art form that advocated pure abstraction and universality by a reduction to the essentials of form and colour - simplification of objects and use of only primary colours and black and white. His work started to embody the hard-edged and linear styles evident in his work such as New York (Brooklyn Bridge). He was also rather interested in the development of Russian avant-garde that had some influence in his work. In the United States, he was a muralist for the Public Works art Project and did illustrations for New Masses, a journal. He also toured the country extensively and did many lithographs from his travels or skyscrapers, constructions and machinery. In 1943, Louis moved to New Jersey where he continued his work, with themes of the human condition and nature appearing more frequently in his later works.

I had never heard of Louis Lozowick before but was instantly drawn to his work in the book: City of Ambition - Artists and New York. Here, his work of urban landscapes within New York drew an especial connection with me, having grown up in a strong city environment. I love his use of strong and bold lines and focus on very real and streamlined objects. He also seems to like incorporating other elements into his work that you wouldn't necessarily associate with urban scenery such as the horses with the huge water tank. Yet despite the very real-ness of his work, they still have this almost dreamy, whimsical feel to them, that move it past the traditional classic real-life work.

My favourite one is actually Bridge Repair which to me represents an almost surreal view of the New York Sky Line.

Bridge Repair, 1938, Lithograph

Tanks, 1929, Lithograph

New York (Brooklyn Bridge), 1923, Lithograph

White Spider, 1952, Lithograph Brooklyn Bridge, 1930, Lithograph


1. Sussman, Elisabeth and John G. Hanhardt, City of Ambition: Artists and New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1996
2. Flint, J.A. (1982). The prints of Louis Lozowick : a catalogue raisonné. New York: Hudson Hills Press.
4. Marquardt, V.H. (Ed.) (1997). Survivor from a dead age : the memoirs of Louis Lozowick. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment