Lozowick, Louis

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LOZOWICK, LOUIS (1892–1973), U.S. printmaker, painter, draftsman, and writer. Born Leib Lozowick in Russia, he changed his name to the more Anglicized Louis upon his arrival in America. At the age of nine he had lived with his brother in Kiev, where he attended secular school and took his first art classes at the Kiev Art School (1903–5). When his brother moved to the United States in 1906, Lozowick joined him in Newark, New Jersey.

After studying at the National Academy of Design in New York (1912–15) with the Jewish artist Leon Kroll and others, Lozowick went to Ohio State University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1918. He served in the U.S. Army for a year before an extensive stay in Europe. Lozowick spent a year in Paris and then lived in Berlin for three years, befriending other Russian artists in Germany, including El *Lissitzky. With Lissitzky, Lozowick traveled to Moscow, where he became acquainted with Constructivist principles, gaining admiration for a machine aesthetic that highlighted the potential of the urban landscape. From 1919 to 1928 Lozowick made a series of canvases of ten American cities (e.g., Minneapolis, 1926–27, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, d.c.) rendered in a precisionist idiom. In 1923 Lozowick began making lithographs, often of the cities he had rendered in paint. He returned to America in 1924.

Lozowick worked on a series of pen and ink drawings of imagined technology called Machine Ornaments from 1922 to 1927. He incorporated three movable machine ornaments as the set design for the 1926 stage production of Gas in Chicago. The same year Lord and Taylor asked Lozowick to design the set for a fashion show and a window display. Again using the forms of his machine ornaments, Lozowick created larger-than-life Constructivist inspired architectonic backdrops.

He began to make drawings for the leftist periodical New Masses in the late 1920s. Around 1930 Lozowick admitted human figures into his art, often picturing laborers of the metropolis. His social imagery described injustices facing the workers as well as others; the lithograph Lynching (1936) was included in the 1936 American Artists' Congress print exhibition "America Today." Lozowick also worked as a New Deal artist (1934–37), designing two works for New York City's post office on 33rd street and several lithographs.

Later in life Lozowick moved away from Cubist-inspired industrial subjects. With a more supple line and sometimes increased color, Lozowick made increasingly realistic prints. Trips to Israel in 1954, 1964, and 1968 produced several images of the land. On a commission from the United Jewish Appeal, Lozowick executed a lithograph of a pious Jew in synagogue entitled Lone Worshipper (1966).

A prolific writer, Lozowick wrote Modern Russian Art (1925) and a monograph on William *Gropper; he contributed art criticism to several magazines, including The Menorah Journal. His autobiography, Survivor from a Dead Age, was published posthumously.


J. Flint, The Prints of Louis Lozowick: A Catalogue Raisonné (1982); L. Lozowick, Survivor from a Dead Age: The Memoirs of Louis Lozowick (1997).

[Samantha Baskind (2nd ed.)]