In New York, award-winning art critic Jerry Saltz gives Sharon Horvath’s show at Lori Bookstein a thumbs up. “The overlooked painter Sharon Horvath excels at creating condensed visionary fictions at small scale. In her new series, ‘Parts of a World,’ her crustily elegant depictions of maps, microcosms, Mondrian-like nets, star charts, and ballparks spread out onto larger canvases. Horvath’s topographical shapes echo textiles, trusswork, and hills as well as the abstract paintings of Thomas Nozkowski and Arthur Dove. It’s a fine inauguration for the new Chelsea location of Lori Bookstein Fine Art, formerly on 57th Street.”
The title of the exhibition, “Parts of a World” is borrowed from the title of Wallace Stevens’ book of poetry published 1942, as are the titles of several paintings borrowed from his poems, including Dezembrum, Palaz of Hoon, Description Without Place and Human Arrangement. These borrowings are a tribute to the poet’s lifelong involvement with, in his words, “the incessant conjunctions between things as they are and things imagined.”
Since Sharon Horvath received her BFA in 1980 from Cooper Union and her MFA in 1985 from Tyler School of Art, she has racked up numerous awards and honors, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant for Painting, the Jacob H. Lazarus-Metropolitan Museum of Art Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, the Anonymous was a Woman Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard and Hilda Rosenthal Award for Painting, the Edwin Palmer Prize in Painting from the National Academy Museum and two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Purchase College, SUNY, and lives and works in New York City. Since 1987, she has exhibited in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, and internationally.
In The Brooklyn Rail Ben La Rocco writes that Horvath’s work is richly optical, full of enticing complexity, intense color, and fascinating characters. “Horvath paints the world as it looks to me when I am at my best. These paintings are devoid of cynicism.”
As Saltz suggests, Horvath’s work has been mysteriously overlooked. What does a painter of Horvath’s caliber have to do to get some attention in this town?
“Sharon Horvath: Parts of a World,” Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY. Through November 25, 2009.