LOUIS LOZOWICK – construction

Louis Lozowick (December 10, 1892 – September 9, 1973) was an American painter and printmaker. He was born in Ludvinovka, Ukraine, came to the United States in 1906, and died in New Jersey in 1973. He is recognized as an Art Deco and Precisionist artist, and mainly produced streamline, urban-inspired monochromatic lithographs in a career that spanned 50 years. His style often appears photorealistic at first glance due to the pains he took in depicting bridges, buildings, silos and machinery down to the last girder, rivet, and cable. In fact, the architecture has a brutal prominence in his work. Lozowick always seemed to insert some secondary subject in his cityscapes – people, cars, trucks, steam shovels, barges, trains, planes – to accentuate the massiveness and orderliness of his buildings and bridges and smokestacks. However, these secondary subjects are most often rendered fleetingly – the people faceless, the automobiles and trucks generic – and depicted laboring. Some critics contend that Lozowick intended his cityscapes and industryscapes as a rationalized form of society – cities laid out according to a master plan, everybody and everything with a defined role – and his leftist beliefs certainly point to that possibility. On the other hand, as one can see thumbing through Lozowick’s broader works collected at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s online archive, Lozowick was certainly capable of illustrating the human form with fluidity and detail, and in the latter half of his career – particularly whenever he traveled abroad, away from New York – he took nature as his subject more often than not. It’s also worth pointing out that Lozowick criticized certain artistic movements for not being in touch with the working man, leading one to believe he saw laborers as dignified individuals rather than simple tools to be used for the benefit of society.