new-york

Howard Schwartzberg

Momenta Art

In Howard Schwartzberg’s recent exhibition, paint acquires mass and volume and turns into a “thing,” an entity somewhere between post-Minimalist sculpture and B-movie prop. In Electric Lime (all works 1997), a bathtub’s worth of lime-green latex seems to fill an enormous burlap sack partially affixed to the wall. Expanding over the rim of the bag, the paint has hardened into a level surface suggesting a horizontal monochrome. Against an adjacent wall, a thick cerulean slab with a burlap rind titled A Quarter Cold Blue hugs the baseboards as if trying to make itself as inconspicuous as possible.

These “solid paintings” wrapped in patchy, medieval-looking fabric recall the rough, fragile abstractions of Eva Hesse and the Italian arte povera artists, and make vague references to the body in their rounded forms and cloth scraps. Yet they also reflect the sensibility of a generation that grew

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