Barbara Hirschowitz has had a studio in the 21st Street Studios almost from the beginning. Many of her early works are large abstract canvas pieces, 50” x 50” or larger. The skill with which she applies and builds up heavy layers on the surfaces of her canvases has lead people to mistake her medium to be oils, rather than acrylics. Hirschowitz rarely visualizes her work in advance, preferring to work from instinct and get the paint on in a manner that is appealing to her.
Hirschowitz first started painting in college as part of her training as an occupational therapist. When her late husband’s work brought them to Alabama, Hirschowitz studied painting under Al Sella and Edith Frohock. Under Frohock’s tutelage, Hirschowitz learned to stretch her thinking and skills. While being influenced by renowned Alabama-based artists Sella and Frohock, Hirschowitz has, in turn, influenced her own her children. One daughter works as a visual artist after a career as an attorney, and another daughter is a skilled goldsmith.
For the last three years, she hasn’t had much time to get into town to paint in the studio. Instead, she has been working in her home studio on smaller scale pieces. These new works which are on heavy French handmade paper, can be displayed individually. But, when grouped together in simple white frames, they can fill a wall with a bold matrix of color and shape, thus grabbing the viewer’s attention.
Hirschowitz has been showing in group and solo shows for years in the Birmingham area. Fifteen years ago, she had a solo exhibit at The Hoover Public Library Theater Arts Gallery, called “Reflections 01 and 02,” based on her personal refections of the September 11 attacks. Her works were described in a news article by James R. Nelson as “offer[ing] just enough visual imagery to identify and trigger viewer response in a reflective way.” She was included in a show called “Current and Past Conversations” at the 21st Street Studios last year, curated by Peter Prinz, CEO and co-founder of Space One Eleven.
Barbara Hirschowitz’s work was part of the inaugural show at Ground Floor Contemporary on July 14th 2016. Hirschowitz is currently part of the “resolution” show currently up in the gallery until January 29th 2017. To see more examples of her work, visit the Ground Floor Contemporary Gallery’s artist pages.