Before Painting is Howard Schwartzberg’s first solo exhibition in 20 years. It opens on June 4, 2022 at Private Public Gallery in Hudson, New York. The show features a selection of works representative of Howard Schwartzberg’s painting practice and is co-curated by Abstract Room.
Schwartzberg, a Brooklyn artist of the generation of Steven Parrino, a graduate of Pratt Institute and a student of Lawrence Carroll, begun his career in the late 80’s in the galaxy of the Stux Gallery, which brought to the world artists such as Andres Serrano or Vik Muniz. Like Parrino, Schwartzberg challenges the construct of paintings as we know them, playing with the roles of the stretchers, canvas and paint. Schwartzberg also reverses the painting processes, literally turns paintings inside-out and proposes three dimensional works where big volumes of paint – which bear the “heavy weight of painting history” – are intertwined with canvas and stretcher pieces.
“Early on I felt like I needed to protect painting, so I took it apart.” Howard Schwartzberg
In the 2000’s, Schwartzberg dedicated all his energy to the creation and implementation of innovative teaching programs for underprivileged kids in the New-York school system. He returned to painting in 2015, developing several new bodies of magnetic and poignant works, such as the Inverted Paintings, the Suspended Paintings and the Bandage Paintings that consolidate his very unique position on the New York art map and that can be discovered in Before Painting.