Magazine article Artforum International

Channa Horwitz: Raven Row

Magazine article Artforum International

Channa Horwitz: Raven Row

Article excerpt

Channa Horwitz

RAVEN ROW

Channa Horwitz was, notoriously, the only woman selected for Maurice Tuchman's landmark Art and Technology project (1967-71) and, worse still, was the only selected artist not to have her work realized and exhibited. A diagram on graph paper for the movement of light on eight Plexiglas beams floating in a magnetic field, Art and Technology Proposal: Beams and Intensity of Lights, 1968, was on view in this long-overdue survey, which originated at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and was organized by its chief curator, Ellen Blumenstein. Although the proposal never took on concrete form, it was prescient in that systems, motion, diagramming, and the count from one to eight would consume the attention of the Los Angeles-born and -based artist until her death in 2013.

Covering a period from 1964 to 2012, the exhibition comprised primarily works on Mylar or paper but also a handful of paintings and sculptures, as well as an interactive installation, Displacement, 2011. Her two main series of work, "Language," 1964-2011, and "Sonakinatography," 1968-2012, are both diagrammatic systems. Both groups were installed on the ground floor, together with her earlier paintings and Displacement, while the upper galleries were devoted to other drawings and Art and Technology-related work. "Language" uses black and white circles and squares as a coding method. "I chose the circle and the square," the artist said, "to represent all shapes, and black and white to present all colors." Each resulting pictogram has squares intersecting with circles on an orange grid. They may suggest signal flags designed by a Minimalist. Language Series 1,1964-2004, collects twentyone individual pictograms laid out in a triangular formation within its frame. With a small key at the bottom-right corner, it is possible to slowly decipher the piece, but even without this reading, the grouping's pulsing sequential geometric rhythm equally holds one's attention. …

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