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Packer Schopf Gallery

Exhibition Detail
942 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60608

September 11th, 2009 - October 10th, 2009
, Robert HorvathRobert Horvath
© Ciurtesy of the artist and Packer Schopf Gallery
West Loop/West Town
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5:30pm

A meme is "a postulated unit or element of cultural idea, symbol or practice, and is transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena." (Wikipedia)

Inspired by the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, (who coined the term “meme”), Horvath imagines and manifests a "contagious information pattern" that parasitically infects the human mind and alters our perception and behavior. Each painting portrays a dimension in which memes take on physical form.

Horvath builds maquettes to paint from; using spray foam insulation he generates organic forms, adding plastic beads, faux jewelry, Christmas tree ornaments, plastic flowers and fiber optic strands. The works become an abstract mass of perfumed clouds, coded messages, and optically disorienting phenomena, both crystalline and geometric. The actual shapes appear glossy or metallic, evoking the painted surface of a luxury car or polished anodized chrome.

Each of Horvath’s paintings emits brilliant beams of light. With inspiration as disparate as the OP art movement of 1970's and science fiction films, this careful construction of light is created using glazing techniques: brushing one transparent layer of paint over another thoroughly dried layer of opaque paint. The final light projections are painted to appear similar to colored, translucent Jell-O.

As many emerging artists enjoy the freedom to move from representation to abstraction without any restrictions, the technical aspects of painting often take a back seat. This is not the case with Horvath; his work combines the vigilance of a Renaissance painting with progressive and unique present day ideas.

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