Upcoming solo show June 4th @ Private Public Gallery, 530 Columbia St, Hudson, NY 12534 (212) 286-0075
Howard Schwartzberg was born in 1965 in Coney Island, Brooklyn. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute and his Masters in Education from the University of New England, Maine. Schwartzberg began showing work in 1990 and has been in several group shows in New York, including the Drawing Center and Stux Gallery. He has had solo exhibitions at Momenta Art, Silverstein Gallery, Dorsky Gallery and most recently at 57W57Arts in New York City. In 1999 the artist created “Surface”, a large environmental earthwork in Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY. During his tenure as a New York City high school art teacher, he has developed site-specific art programs for hundreds of children, including those living in group homes, family shelters, drug rehabilitation centers and youth detention centers. In 1999, Schwartzberg received the New York City Art Teachers Association/UFT Honorary Art Educators Award in the High School Category.
After a twenty-year period of focusing his art making with education, in 2020, Schwartzberg is set to retire from the New York City Public School System. In 2016, he started his painting practice once again and looks forward to exhibiting and sharing his work around the world.
In the late eighties, feeling restricted by the confines of a stretched canvas, I started experimenting with ways in which to reverse the processes of making a painting. Using bags and containers, made of jute or canvas, I began to explore weight and volume in relationship to the fluid properties of paint, seeking to turn a painting inside out enabling the medium to essentially hold on to itself. Rearranging and rethinking the functionality of the painting materials, for example, applying canvas to paint instead of paint to canvas, broadened my interpretation of what a painting can be. Reversing the process while retaining tradition became a language of new directions and surfaces for paint to go.
Collapse and decay are present in the work, which are glued or sewn back together. Mending is an integral part of the process and begins the life of each work. I use monochromatic colors on a flat surface maintaining a formal aspect of painting, however, the sculptural quality of the work helps push the constructs of painting, its picture plane, composition and illusion.