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Robert Moskowitz

“In anything I do, I don’t want the viewer involved with how it was done. The curiosity about how it was made can come later. I just want the work to be another thing in the room which is discovered slowly.”—Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz is an American painter best known for his large-scale paired down canvases that breach the gap between abstraction and representation. Beginning his career in the early 1960s with assemblages inspired by one of his teachers, Marcel Duchamp, Moskowitz soon moved on to his more signature monochromatic large-scale work which, from the mid-1960s to the early 70s, featured abstracted and geometric forms floating in front of barely visible corners of empty rooms.

Moskowitz is among the celebrated New Image Artists that emerged in the late 1970s; a loosely knit group of artists making work that embraced the figure in art in reaction to the prolonged periods of popularity of conceptual art such as Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Performance Art. His work was included in the seminal 1978 exhibition “New Image Painting” at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In his essay for the 1989 monograph Robert Moskowitz, curator Ned Rifkin describes Moskowitz’s work as a “significant link between the Abstract Expressionism of the New York School and the ‘New Image Abstraction’ painters of the mid-1970s.” Describing the artist’s use of both abstraction and representation Rifkin states, “In his unique way, Moskowitz has polarized these ideas, pulling them sufficiently apart so that each has overlapped the other, fused again in an original visual language that he has successfully employed to express his inner-most feelings and define his insights about creativity, vitality, and the ever-unknown realm of the imagination.”

Robert Moskowitz was born in New York in 1935 and had his first U.S. solo exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1962. Subsequent solo exhibitions have been presented at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The artist lives and works in New York City.

Art without images