Artist and engineer Howard Schoor, the painter of what he terms “happy art,” characterizes his pieces as exemplars of the artistic style “Trianglism,” invented by the painter, as each piece includes at least, one triangle as signature motif. He modestly states his art has no deeper meaning than to elicit delight in the viewer and that “it is what it is.”
An autodidact, he became interested in contemporary art as an engineer while building his home in Coltsneck, NJ, under the formidable wings of his mentor, the iconic architect and collector, Barry Berkus. Berkus whetted the engineer’s appetite for art acquisitions and by 2016, Schoor began creating his own art, providing himself with an exciting new vocation as contemporary abstract painter.
His precise geometric designs are offset by the organic sheen of spackle paste and acrylic paints applied with brush and palette knife. This gives Schoor’s canvases texture that results in balanced, analog feel and a comfortable familiarity to his work. His elegant motifs are further enhanced by a jubilant use of color. Frank Stella, Robert Ryman, Mark Rothko, are amongst the modern giants, that inform the progression of his work into increasingly complex abstract geometric works of art.
Schoor is in the process of combining his studio and exhibition space into one location in Ocean Township, New Jersey, that one can visit by making an appointment at www.HowardSchoorart.com. Ebullient about the joys of collecting art, Schoor has created the “Little Gem Series” which allows ownership of a Schoor original without a declaration of bankruptcy.
His first exhibit was at a Manhattan art fair in 2018. He has also shown in numerous locations throughout the United States including Art Basel along with work at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He currently has a solo show at Chelsea’s Montserrat Contemporary Arts Gallery.
One of Schoor’s primary goals in making art is to put a smile on people’s faces and he feels this is particularly important now after the world has suffered the heartbreak of the COVID19 pandemic. His use of bright colors superimposed as geometric forms over painted uniform backgrounds where triangles, intimating drafting tools, occupy prominent spaces on the canvases, helps achieve this goal.
He does not make preliminary sketches and lets the pieces evolve before him. When people see his paintings, their immediate reaction is to smile. He eschews the 20th century Abstract Expressionist angst, the sturm und drang of dark and agitated colors and finds much of this art depressing, instead opting for a light-hearted and expansive vision. In one of his pieces, he unequivocally declares on the canvas that the painting is by Howard Schoor so there is no doubt about authenticity. This painter is optimistic, and he wants his viewing public to be that way too. Coming late in life to painting, he wants viewers to know he has fervently seized the day.
As an engineer, he received a critical skills military deferment and worked on the national highway system and in 2017, created a striking homage to Jasper Johns where a triangle dramatically bisects a bright American flag, demonstrating Schoor’s respect for the United States and for John’s prodigious talents. “Colorful Thoughts” from 2019 tries to randomly express happiness, as does the “Starburst” painting from 2020, too, highlighting the artist’s vivacity.
Through the acts of viewing art and painting, Schoor feels his work has become more complex, but he does not see it as having deep underlying meaning. He may see his reasons for creativity as being somewhat simple, but I tend to differ, as I feel he has brought depth to his work by choosing the triangle as his signature. In sacred geometry, a triangle can indicate concord and balance in body, mind and spirit. I think that without realizing it, Howard Schoor has brought this unstated possibility to the viewer so that the paintings reach people on a harmonious richer level, centering the viewers’ emotions and encouraging hope for the future while healing the current bruised psyches of so many. Howard Schoor exemplifies joy in his artwork, most importantly, realizing creations of such necessary and what I would term influential happy art, and so contributing to positively changing the prevailing pessimistic spirit of our times.
Howard Schoor can be seen in the Year-round Salon at Montserrat Contemporary Art Gallery.