Q&A with Robert Horvath, using art to study and express concepts of gender, sexuality and hedonism in youth
Robert Horvath, associate professor of painting in the Herron School of Art + Design, is an accomplished artist who uses his craft to communicate ideas of gender, sexuality and hedonism in youth. By joining the IUPAH cohort, he plans on expanding his audience and further studying art to express his interests.
Question: What are your career goals?
Answer: As a practicing artist, I am working towards expanding the viewership of and engagement with my work through exhibiting in a diverse range of public institutions.
Q: What is your greatest achievement as a scholar?
A: I am most proud of my organic development within and beyond my primary focus of painting. During my tenure at the Herron School of Art and Design, I have developed a practice that spans working with painting, ceramics, digital art and now installation art.
Q: What are your research interests?
A: My research spans painting, digital media, sculpture and ceramics. Guided by multidisciplinary reflections on gender and sexuality, my past work explored ideas of youthful hedonism and homo-erotic temporal pastiches that draw on Rococo aesthetics and ideas of invertedness and amorphism. Currently, I am interested in decorative arts, architecture and interiors of the 17th and 18th centuries, species and plant extinction as a direct effect of human intervention, as well as contemporary watercolor painting, collage and installation art.
Q: What do you see as the importance of this fellowship and related project?
A: The IU Presidential Fellowship facilitates critical dialogue not only between our universities’ campuses but also between and across disciplines in the humanities. This is a prime opportunity to use my project as a sounding board for such conversations and, in so doing, for mutual development in our thinking about the visual arts as a scholarly practice. Inasmuch as my large-scale installation of a 17th- to 18th-century “period room” will benefit from the input of my peers, I hope that it will also contribute to a richer sense of interdisciplinary exchange at Indiana University.