Appendix: Cartoons

Photo: Herbert sitting on balcony

"Among sensitive viewers, there is an appreciation for certain kinds of events that take place in good painting. They are events or occurrences of paint, drawing, and surprise that transcend consideration of theory, history, or style.

Some can be an awareness or heightened sense of the surface of a painting as if it is alive; a kind of skin that covers and reveals a network of veins and structure that lay underneath. Perhaps a feeling that a paint stroke is still occurring, as if one could repaint the stroke with ones eye; or a heightened sense of passage, the surprise of following an edge or paint stroke and feeling it evolve from an expression of air and space to an expression of form. These are elements of the art of painting; the art form that Herbert Katzman spent his life mastering, for Herbert Katzman was a master painter.

There is a story told of George Inness, a painter Katzman greatly admired. In this story told by his son, Inness sees a red sun setting beyond the horizon and falls to his knees saying »my god, how beautiful!« For Katzman the art of painting is an unashamed celebration of beauty. For decades, he observed the drama of the sky, sea, and air of New York Bay from his studio and recorded it in more than a hundred paintings and drawings, expressing it in an almost religious light, for whether one is secular or religious, light still comes from the heavens. There is a characteristic of our greatest painters which occurs later in life. Titian, Rembrandt, Degas to name a few, shed all remaining vanity and seem to deal more with aspects of light (perhaps fading) as a vehicle of pure expression. This purity of expression is a characteristic of Katzmans later work, making him part of that artistic family. It is a lonely thing to be a painter of quality or even to admire quality as a viewer, particularly now, when many institutions that claim to represent artistic achievement seem so oblivious to it. The lifetime achievement of Herbert Katzman makes it a little less lonely. His work stands apart from the politics of taste . It is what Duke Ellington called »beyond category« and validates and authenticates poetic vision."
— Steve Sherman, 2005