Red Circle, 1924
Oil on canvasboard
18 x 15 inches
Signed on the reverse
Lozowick was born in Ukraine and studied at the Kiev Art School. In 1906 he followed his brother to New York, where he attended the National Academy of Design. After earning a degree from Ohio State University and serving in the army, Lozowick embarked on a cross-country trip, visiting major cities of the United States. The visual landscape of these cities, filled with smokestacks, factories, skyscrapers, and the expanding network of highways, informed his style in the years to follow. In 1922 Lozowick traveled to Europe, where he discovered the Russian Constructivists, who championed the machine aesthetic through abstraction and minimalism.
Lozowick’s predilection for Constructivist design principles is evident in Red Circle; even its palette is symbolic of the Russian Revolution and was often used by the Russian avant-gardes. Although its title does not suggest a specific city, the painting was part of Lozowick’s American Cities series, which was executed in Berlin and drew on memories of his cross-country US trip. Precisionist in style and composition, the series features simple shapes rendered with sharp clarity, depicting common subjects from the American landscape. Here the repeated window patterns on the starkly linear buildings suggest a landscape of factories, while the cylindrical forms at center represent smoke stacks.