In "The Painting Wall and Water Bucket Stool"
(1958), the stool is casting a shadow of steel.
Painting Wall And Waterbucket Stool
Following such ironic insights were "cut-outs" painted on canvas and mounted on wood. They were free-standing silhouetted paintings without background. "The idea was to excite the viewer's imagination," says the artist. This is defined again in "Chair and Shadow" (1987), when he gives both objects the same material presence. The surprising effect of trompe-l'oeil works that followed the cut-outs and attracted attention at Documenta 5 soon ceased to satisfy Kanovitz. He continues to use these concepts on a new and advanced level. For example, he contrasts a ship in a moonlit bay with a perfectly executed upside-down bedpost casting a shadow ("Toward the Bay " 1986), and combines painting and object through the appearance of a romantic landscape inside the solid architectural wood frame of a door ("Full Moon Door," 1984). Even more important in his works of the eighties is his use of interconnected transparent layers reminiscent of the disparate images in the work of the Belgian surrealist, Rene Magritte