Howard Daum



HOWARD DAUM (1918-1988)

Howard Daum often painted from his rooftop overlooking 14th Street and Union Square. With his background in abstraction, he used the shapes, configurations and diamond-like light of the city as the primary image of his art.

Daum wrote, “The basis of the style deals with negative shape and positive shape as one.” His aim was to penetrate structure and formal organization. In his paintings, Daum distilled the cacophony of New York – the shifting perspectives, street lights, signs, architectural structure – into a pulsating evocation of the City.

In the mid 1940’s, Daum was part of a loose confederation of artists known as the Indian Space Group who were inspired by the luminous ideographs of Native American and pre-Columbian art and their use of flat all-positive space. In a kaleidoscope universe, Daum sought to capture images that shift between figure and ground, creating multiple ways of reading.