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For Immediate Release
February 21, 2020

Howard Kanovitz: Representation Reconstructed at Suffolk’s Lyceum Gallery

Kanovitz’s monumental painting, Rain (16’ x 8’), composed of eight 48 x 48 inch canvases.

Representation Reconstructed, an exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Howard Kanovitz, will be exhibited at Suffolk County Community College from March 16 through April 18.

Featured at the Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus Lyceum Gallery will be studies for Kanovitz’ mixed media environmental sculpture, A Death in Treme, which was featured in his retrospective, Visible Difference at the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, Germany in 2017. 

Shown for the first time will be Kanovitz’s monumental painting, Rain (16’ x 8’), composed of eight 48 x 48 inch canvases.

Also exhibited will be Kanovitz’, The Conversation, which toured Europe in a 2013-14 group exhibition. Last Year in Marienbad, organized by Kunst Halle Bremen will also be on view.  For a glimpse into the creative process of Howard Kanovitz see the video Camera and Mirror which includes works featured in this exhibition.

Often cited as the progenitor of Photorealism, Howard Kanovitz intently scrutinized the visible world with exactitude while addressing larger issues that question the nature of how we come to perceive the visible world.

As Sam Hunter, MOMA curator and Jewish Museum Director put it, “Kanovitz’ exactitude of vision does not present the viewer with simple facts. Rather, they offer equations of ambiguity, which challenge the very core of the artistic experience.”

Like his European counterpart, Gerhard Richter, Kanovitz overtly referenced photography in his paintings, using it not merely as a mimetic aid, but as an object of inquiry. Chuck Close lauded Kanovitz as opening up a new venue for avant-garde representational painting stating, “He made working from photographs seem like a good idea.”

Kanovitz had established a successful career as an abstract expressionist when he shocked his colleagues in the New York downtown art scene by showing figurative work in his 1966 solo exhibition at The Jewish Museum.  Kanovitz described his radical switch, “Abstract Expressionism used to turn me to the mysteries of life.  I painted colors and shapes exhumed from the sub-conscious….  Abstract Expressionism had become orthodoxy. In the photographic realism of my later work nothing important changed, except that I began to paint things. The complexity and range expanded.”

Kanovitz achieve many successes throughout his career.  In the 1970’s Kanovitz was selected twice to represent America in the groundbreaking Documenta Bienniel in Kassel Germany and was awarded a DAAD fellowship in Germany.  Working on projects with the Serpentine Gallery in London, Kanovitz split his time between London, Germany, New York City, and his home in Amagansett. 

Kanovitz participated in nearly 200 group and solo exhibitions internationally and throughout the United States. 

In New York, The Alex Rosenberg and Marlborough Galleries represented Kanovitz’ work.  In 2016 Kanovitz’ painting, The New Yorkers I was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in “Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney Collection.”

Howard Kanovitz is represented in many private and museum collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.  Among the museum collections in the U.S. are The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum, and The LA County Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum NY, Guild Hall, East Hampton and The Parrish Art Museum, Watermill.

Director of the Howard Kanovitz Foundation Carolyn Oldenbusch will speak at at a gallery reception on April 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Lyceum Gallery is located on the Montaukett Learning Resource Center on the Eastern Campus of Suffolk County Community College, Riverhead.