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Art review: Channa Horwitz at SolwayJones and kunsthalle L.A

April 2, 2010 |  9:00 pm

400.Channa Horwitz Trian#6A5FD5 "Sequences & Systems," a terrific two-part show (split between SolwayJones and kunsthalle L.A.), skims across 40 years of visual investigation by the L.A. artist Channa Horwitz. By the time Horwitz earned her B.F.A. from CalArts in 1972, she had already submitted a proposal (included in this show) to the landmark "Art & Technology" exhibition at LACMA and was well on her way to developing methods of articulating space, typically in ink on paper, using the orderly rigor of predetermined systems.

Her work falls somewhere between game and exercise, mathematics and music. Its key ingredients are rhythm, pattern and repetition, its precursors the minimal, serial art of the '60s. The entrancing "Composition #8 Augmented Variation #2" reads like an elegant score, following the momentum of a single thick ink line that rises, falls, breaks into separate staccato beats then resumes its sustained visual hum. Some of Horwitz's works over the years have been performed live, using dancers, synthesizers and projected imagery. Even when not actualized physically, her notations are dynamic and usually involve a sense of progression, so that time and process are actively engaged.

400.Channa Horwitz Canon#6A5FB2 In the Canon series of 1982, for instance, Horwitz draws a simple geometric pattern on separate sheets of graph paper, then draws images that represent the sum of the individual parts. "Eight Layers From the Canon Series, Exposed" presents a grid of 64 such basic components, and the lacy tapestries of line that result when the patterns of each row or column are combined. The austerity of the system gives way to sensual ebullience, and the images, however prescribed, feel immediate and fresh.

– Leah Ollman

 SolwayJones, 990 N. Hill St., No. 180, and kunsthalle L.A., 932 Chung King Road, (323) 223-0224, through April 25. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.solwayjonesgallery.com

Images: 1982 and Triangle / Color, top; and Canon # 10, Expanded. Photo credit: Joshua White.

 
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