Channa Horwitz

10 March to 1 May 2016

Sonakinatography, Composition XVII, 1987–2004

Casein paint on mylar

Courtesy the Estate of Channa Horwitz

Photo by Timo Ohler


Channa Horwitz (1932–2013, Los Angeles) was amongst the pioneers in the late 1960s and 70s of a distinctly Californian minimalism. She came relatively late to art, arranging it around her home life, and despite corresponding and swapping work with Sol LeWitt, she received little attention from the art world until the end of her life.

Horwitz claimed artistic freedom through confinement to a few simple rules. She came to base all her work on the numbers one to eight – often deploying a colour code for each number – and used this system to depict time and movement. Her outstanding series titled Sonakinatography can be understood in terms of notation, for instance for music or choreography. 

Working mostly without the promise of exhibition, Horwitz was disciplined and prolific. Although she experimented with other materials – sculpture and photography, as well as performance and ultimately installation – her preferred form was drawing, often using ink on standard graph paper. At times during the exhibition Horwitz's work will be activated through music, and dance, and movement workshops.

This exhibition reconfigures the first survey of Horwitz's work at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2015, and is curated again by Ellen Blumenstein, Chief Curator, KW. Since 2012, Horwitz's work has been included in major exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, New York, 2014, the Venice Biennale, 2013, and 'Moments. A History of Performance in 10 Acts', ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2012.