New York, 19 January – 24 February 2018
Lisson Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works from Channa Horwitz’s Sonakinatography series, the first exhibition of her work since the gallery’s recent announcement of its New York representation of the estate. Sonakinatography (Sound, Motion, Notation) is one of the artist’s earliest bodies of work out of which a deepening inquiry and the others grew.
In 1968, Channa Horwitz submitted a proposal called “Suspension of Vertical Beams Moving in Space” to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art and Technology exhibition. The proposal was for a sculpture with eight moving beams, suspended in the air by magnetism and lit at varying intensities. Dismissed from working with industry because she was a woman, her sculpture was never fabricated. LACMA did publish her proposal in the catalogue, but she was the only artist left off of the cover of exclusively male artists. This and the omission of any women artists in the exhibition spawned a feminist movement in the Los Angeles art scene, and the exhibition received a great deal of criticism. However, her attempt to graphically describe the movement of the beams with the rules and systems of eight that she developed for this proposal became the foundation for her numerous bodies of work, including her ground breaking series, Sonakinatography.
Sonakinatography was Horwitz’s visual philosophy and playful means of exploring and expressing the fourth dimension two-dimensionally. Feeling confident in her ability to compose for two and three dimensions, she set out to understand how choreographers and musical composers expressed time. “To achieve my compositions, I used motion in the form of eight energies (1/8 inch squares) which moved in a circularly sequential, numbered, logical manner. I created visual compositions by playing different number games”. “I devised a system that would allow me to see time visually”.
“I thought of the compositions as a kind of common language that could be interpreted in different ways”. Indeed, Sonakinatography has been interpreted by sound, music, movement, dance, light and animation artists. Horwitz also used Composition III as the structure for her poem opera score. She subsequently created twenty-four Sonakinatography compositions, each with different variations.
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