Born 1965, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

HOWARD SCHWARTZBERG

I approach my work as a curious navigation into things I can’t see and an exploration of what may lie behind. I make paintings that are essentially bags or containers made of canvas that hold paint and history. I explore weight and volume in relationship to the fluid properties of paint. I have always experimented with the painting materials and process and think of paintings as physical forms. Early on I felt restricted and confined by the rectangle and structure of a stretched canvas and began to reverse the processes of making a painting. I wanted to turn painting inside out to get to the other side and I wanted to have painting holding on to itself.  In the beginning the paintings contained wood but then quickly evolved to contain all paint.
Collapse and decay are present in the work with mended, sewn or glued pieces of canvas. The mending is an important part of the process and establishes a life for each work. Over the years my work has evolved in numerous directions as I have attempted to reverse, invert, contain or deconstruct certain aspects of making a painting while holding on to others as a means to find new directions and surfaces for paint to go.
The colors of the work are its personality, which also relate to its form. The colors I use are always monochromatic and are usually poured resulting in a flat smooth surface. The sculptural quality of the work helps me push painting’s constructs, composition and illusion.