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Ian Hornak: Transparent Barricades

Hanna Tillich's Mirror: Rembrandt's 'Three Trees' Transformed into the Expulsion from Eden

Ian Hornak
Hanna Tillich's Mirror: Rembrandt’s "Three Trees"
Transformed into the Expulsion from Eden
, 1978
Acrylic on canvas

Scarlet Macaw, by Ian Hornak

Ian Hornak
Scarlet Blue Macaw, 1992
Acrylic on panel with artist-painted frame

An exhibition at the Federal Reserve from October 9, 2012 to May 3, 2013

This retrospective exhibition features more than twenty paintings created between 1977 and 2002 that demonstrate the artist’s love for both landscape and still life.

Ian Hornak showed artistic talent and drive at an early age by copying and interpreting the work of Old Masters. When he studied art in college and graduate school in the 1960s, abstraction, minimalism, and pop art were all the rage, but Hornak preferred realism and focused his creativity on the landscape. Even after moving to New York City in the late 1960s, where he mingled with and befriended veterans of the abstraction and pop art movements—Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol, among others—Hornak stayed true to his passion for representation.

A hallmark of Hornak’s landscapes is his unique style of transposing multiple photographs of a landscape into one painting. He traveled the world taking photographs, which he later used for inspiration in his work. Without people and artifacts, these paintings convey a mystery and mood that is apart from everyday life. Hornak’s distinctive approach to representational painting won him critical acclaim and financial success in the 1970s.   

In the mid-1980s, Hornak began painting borders around his work, creating a visual frame. Using this process, he extended the subject matter of the canvas onto the wooden frame surrounding the work, making it even more original and distinct.

Eventually, Hornak began to focus his efforts on still life, creating brightly colored works in a style that can be described as a reinterpretation of the work of the Dutch and Flemish masters. He played with light, juxtaposed scenes and surreal subjects, and constantly developed new ways to represent elements that had been depicted numerous times throughout art history. Hornak continued creating imaginative and unusual still-life paintings until his untimely death in 2002 at the age of fifty-eight. 

Ian Hornak: Transparent Barricades is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except federal holidays. Reservations are required at least five business days in advance. For reservations and further information, please email


Last update: February 26, 2013