Na de middelbare school monsterde Frans Horbach aan op een vrachtschip met bestemming Brazilië en emigreerde al op jonge leeftijd naar San Francisco. Hij studeerde kunst en architectuur aan de Universiteit van California in Berkeley, en reisde verder de halve wereld rond. Horbach woonde voor langere tijd In Peru en Mexico, waar hij het werk van Rivera en Orozco leerde kennen. Zijn belangstelling voor oude culturen en indianengemeenschappen in Latijns-Amerika dateert uit die tijd - ontmoetingen die een blijvende bron van inspiratie betekenden voor de ontwikkeling van zijn kunstenaarschap. Horbach zegt zelf dat hij gedurende zijn omzwervingen in de oorspronkelijke woongebieden van de indianen ontdekte dat "het landschap gehuld is in mysterie, en dat de waarneming niet alleen te maken heeft met kennis en geheugen, maar ook met het vermogen tot verbeelding".

Het werk van Horbach wordt gekenmerkt door de heldere vorm, kleurrijke beeldtaal en geometrische composities die niet zelden verwantschap laten zien met stromingen binnen de traditie van de moderne abstracte kunst. Zijn langdurig verblijf in Amerika verklaart zijn affiniteit met de typisch Amerikaanse school van lyrisch abstracte schilderkunst. Tegelijkertijd toont zijn werk ook invloeden van zijn langdurige reizen in niet-Westerse landen en zijn de ontmoetingen met andere culturen een bron van inspiratie gebleven - met name is hier ook de esthetische sensibiliteit van de traditionele Japanse kunst als inspiratiebron herkenbaar.



Born in Holland, Dutch artist Frans Horbach first visited New York when he was 17 years old, traveling on a cargo ship from Rotterdam, just as his fellow country man Willem de Kooning had done years before. Two years later he left Holland and emigrated to California.
During the years that he lived and worked as a professional artist in America, one of the main sources of artistic influence came from artists belonging to what is now known as the New York school of American lyrical abstract expressionist art - Rothko, Pollock, De Kooning... He was attracted by their ideas, style of work, and more importantly, by their vital energy and uninhibited self-confidence.
Horbach's work also was influenced, more subtely perhaps, by his contact with indigeneous Indian people during his journeys in the American South-West and Mexico. These encounters were a rich source of inspiration - they became integral to a philosophical framework which involved the appreciation of physical space in a poetic and artistic sense. In later years, as the result of his long-time interest in oriental art and philosophy, some of his work show a distinct affinity with the aesthetic sensibilities of traditional Japanse art.

Though his more recent paintings, when compared with his earlier work, may at first appear simple geometric constructions, there is a delicate complexity involved in their making, a subtle balance of tension, contrast and dimensional harmony. Subtle shifts in colour and perspective occur depending on how you look and interpret - they may also serve to show the correspondence with the inherent complexity of the act of seeing. For the juxtaposition of layered surfaces and structures, combined with an informal application of paint, reflect the instability and movement of our perceptual processes involved. They act as tools to assist us in our negotiation and recognition of perceiving time and space, and the way of looking at art.

Frans Horbach:
"I do not make direct statements with my work, nor do I intend to give subjective commentary about isolated aspects of our conventional world, neither do I wish to bother people with small-talk and pretentious ego-documents with no universal relevance. Making art is for me an organic and intuitive process, a path of discovery, a serious affair that is my own. This process is not divorced from reality, is therefore at times painful or playful, but informed and connected with experience that matter in my orientation to art. In reflecting upon my work one may perceive a relationship between the inner sense of space and the outer physical world, which is, in terms of perception, for me primarily an esthetic visual experience..."

Frans Horbach is an Amsterdam based artist who has exhibited in The Netherlands, France and the United States. He holds a Bachelors of Arts & Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.