It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of artist Channa Horwitz. Channa passed away on Monday afternoon, April 29th, in Los Angeles. Her last few days were spent with friends and family, and she was at peace.
Channa Horwitz was born in 1932 and received a B.F.A. from CalArts in 1972. Working for over 50 years, Channa only realized in these past few years a professional success that had sometimes eluded her. From inclusion in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the New Museum in New York, she was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Only a few months ago, she had been announced as a participant in the upcoming Venice Biennale.
Over her long career, Channa worked primarily with drawings, creating a complex body of works on paper, including her iconic "Sonakinatography" (1968 - 2004) series. Using a system based on 8 numbers associated with 8 colors, the works reinterpret the traditional minimalist grid with a sensual twist, featuring meticulous hand drawings of complex geometric patterns with alternating colors and symbols on graph-ruled Mylar. Her drawings combine an apparent rigidity and structural logic with an element of chance suggested by imperfections, mistakes, and corrections that the artist leaves visible on the paper. Although visually close to Op Art, Horwitz's work is much closer to Conceptual Art and works by colleagues Sol Lewitt or Mel Bochner. "I experience freedom through the limitations and structure I place on my work," she once said.
Reading like elegant music scores, her drawings function as open scripts for possible music or dance interpretations. Horwitz had often invited other artists to interpret her scores in their own performances, revealing not only a generosity she had for others throughout her life but also the central premise of her work, that the simple grace of her specific order was built to set one free.
Channa is survived by her husband Jim Horwitz, her daughter Ellen Davis, her son Marshall Davis, her sister Marlene Martlow, and her nieces Linda and Stephanie.
Channa was an inspiration to many who knew her and many more who only knew her work.
She will be terribly missed.