Leora Lutz

-9Leora Lutz’s personal ideology stems from the fruition of punk rock reasoning and a lifelong practice with the handmade—continually questioning the active role that art/artists play in shaping history. She is a Toronto-born writer, artist, and art administrator who grew up in the eastern parts of Los Angeles before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2011.

As a writer she is a regular contributor to San Francisco Arts Quarterly, and essays and reviews for Art Practical, SF Emerging Arts Professionals Blog, White Hot Magazine and SFMOMA’s Open Space to name a few. As an educator, she has presented several artist lectures at California College of the Arts such as “Color All the Time” and “You are not your fucking khakis.” She is scheduled to lead studio practice courses at City College of San Francisco in the fall 2014 including “Painting without Brushes” and “Line and Song.” Her administration experience spans over eleven years with public institutions including MOCA Los Angeles, the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, Riverside Art Museum and galleries in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area.

Her art practice stems from a conceptual framework with a desire to bring ritual and routine closer together.Her post-minimalist installations, sound works and objects shift ordinary understanding into flux in order to create new visual conversations and poetic narratives. Recent projects include: A study in the word “thing” as it pertains to romance; The Book as Body in Fahrenheit 451; and photographing the interiors of security envelopes from bills she receives in the mail. Her work has been shown at numerous galleries, museums and educational institutions including the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery, West Los Angeles College, Riverside Art Museum, the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art and the For-Site Foundation. Recent projects are if by sea: sound-poetic walk Angel Island and text kilim for the American Consulate in Belgrade, Serbia.

Leora Lutz

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About Leora Lutz's Thesis Project

Leora Lutz

Channa Horwitz: Departing Toward Touch

In 1968, Channa Horwitz began the series of work titled Sonakinatography, a complex numerical system using eight-point grid graph paper as a structure within which to build intricately sequenced abstract drawings. Horwitz’s systematic process became a foundation for what was a 40 year quest for truth in her work. Horwitz said, “The world plays out in an apparent chance that is really a structure.  If I used a logical sequence it would be part of truth.” To be clear, Horwitz’s work is not about truth, it is a means to discover a truth—a logic and system-oriented truth.

In the thesis I focus on five artworks, looking closely at two series that began her trajectory, specifically Sonakinatography (1968) and Language (1964). Then, to contextualize her in the contemporary moment I examine the two series’ later iterations displayed between 2005 and 2013: Poem Opera in 2011 at the High Line in New York, Language (series) at Solway Jones Gallery (2005), Aanant and Zoo Gallery and Y8 (2011) and the Orange Grid at François Ghebaly Gallery in 2013.

While analyzing these few key pieces I saw the complex nature of Horwitz’s quest for truth in relation to her work; although Horwitz focuses on a Minimalist visual aesthetic that speaks in Structuralist language systems,  she takes it further by creating objects that engage in Relational Aesthetics. Horwitz complicates Minimalist tropes because she allowed people to change her work, creating for them a sense of ownership that pushes art to depart from the mere visual—toward touch.

As Nicolas Bourriaud acknowledges in his book Relational Aesthetics— with this kind of work we must, “judg[e] artworks on the basis of the inter-human relations which they represent, produce or prompt.” Foregrounding the usual legibility of this kind of work, Horwitz was contesting art’s public function both practically and intrinsically.Perception of her work depends on the participants’ recognition of their own complicity.  Art must be brought close to touch and touch brings perception closer.

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