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Louis Lozowick

Louis Lozowick (b. 1892, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine – d. 1973, South Orange, NJ) was a leading Precisionist artist, born in the Ukrainian town of Ludvinovka. He studied at the Kiev Art School from 1903 to 1906, before immigrating to the United States and returning to school in 1912 at the National Academy of Design. He continued his studies at Ohio State University, graduating in 1918, and subsequently entered into the Army Medical Corps, where he served until 1919.  Upon his discharge, Lozowick spent five years abroad, traveling to Paris, Moscow, and Berlin. Mary Ryan Gallery is the exclusive representative of the Lozowick estate.

Lozowick began exhibiting his Machine Ornament drawings and abstract paintings based upon American cities during a formative period spent in Europe, making his first lithograph in Berlin in 1923. He returned to New York in 1924, where he continued to explore lithography, and participated in organizing the 1927 Machine Age Exposition. He held his first solo exhibition of lithographs depicting primarily soaring urban and industrial scenes at the Weyhe Gallery in 1929. A prominent Precisionist, his drawings and paintings of the 1920s are directly influenced by Russian avant-garde artists, such as El Lissitzky. He championed the hard-edged, linear style of Constructivism, which rooted his shift to a more social realist sensibility seen in his work during the Great Depression.

During his time in New York, Lozowick lectured on modern Russian art for the Société Anonyme, took on various design commissions, and, in 1926, joined the executive board of the radical journal New Masses. He sat as secretary to the American Artists’ Congress and was an active member of the John Reed Club. He also held various artistic offices of the WPA from 1935-40. Under federal sponsorship, Lozowick was able to create prints in various media and paintings, including a pair of murals for the New York City General Post Office in the late 1930s. Lozowick moved to South Orange, New Jersey, in 1943 with his family, where he continued to teach, lecture, travel, and produce lithographs until his death in 1973.

Lozowick exhibited widely during his lifetime and even after his death. Currently, his work is included in Art for the Millions: American Culture and Politics in the 1930s, a group exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art focused on artwork of the 1930s. Lozowick's work has also been included in group and solo exhibitions at the British Museum, London, UK; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; de Young Museum, CA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, DC; National Gallery of Art, DC; Palmer Museum of Art, PA; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Mary Ryan Gallery represents the estate of Louis Lozowick and has held major exhibitions featuring his work in 2004, 2001, 1999, and 1997.

The Whitney Museum of American Art holds the largest collection of Lozowick’s paintings and drawings, and it is the repository of his personal library. The Smithsonian American Art Museum holds the largest collection of the artist’s lithographs. His work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Carnegie Museum of Art, PA; Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; AR; Fine Arts Museums San Francisco, CA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Jewish Museum, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Rhode Island School of Design, RI; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, among others.

In 1982, Hudson Hills Press published a catalogue raisonné of Lozowick’s prints, edited by Janet Flint.
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