Don Hornberger (American, 1921 - 2006)
One of America's foremost landscape artists, Don Hornberger was as unique and unforgettable as his art. Perhaps best known for his distinctive and recognizable skies, Hornberger was a master of light, movement and atmosphere, and his ability to manipulate acrylics and water on unusual surfaces resulted in dramatically haunting and desolate environments. Although he painted on canvas, slate and masonite, he believed his finest works were the skies he created on the reverse side of mylar, a technique he originated and mastered over many years.
According to Artist Accent Magazine, "he painted the sky as no artist has ever painted it and yet, Hornberger skies are familiar to us. We have seen skies like his in nature."
Trained at Carnegie Tech and Baltimore Polytechnic as a scientist and mathematician, Hornberger was a pioneering engineer in the early days of the space program. He later worked for DuPont, and was fascinated with the unusual properties of new materials, such as mylar—an interest that he later explored in his art. In 1965, Don Hornberger decided to pursue an artistic life and began painting.
"I like to paint seascapes that are terrifying... I like land that inspires me to lose myself in the landscape and fills me with awe and fear," Hornberger said. He often spoke of the invincible power of nature and its ability to create an overwhelming sense of desolation.
Today, Hornberger's paintings are featured in many museums, including the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Pratt Whitney Museum and the William Penn Museum, and are also popular among such collectors as the Rockefellers and Wyeths.
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