This exhibition chronicled Susan Rothenberg’s development over the past two decades and over 80 paintings and drawings. Paintings and Drawings was accompanied by a full-color catalogue, and traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Rothenberg’s powerfully simple depictions of horses that were made between 1973 and 1979 constituted an imposing and exceptionally coherent contribution to the revival of figurative imagery in the 1970s and 1980s. Following the critical success of her horse paintings, Rothenberg continued to apply her restless sense of drawing and brush stroke to new subjects such as abstracted heads and animal forms, fragmented figures in a wide range of portraits.
Rothenberg’s drawings play a key role in tracking the artist’s development. According to Michael Auping, “A fascinating dialogue exists between the paintings and drawings. The drawings tell the more subtle story of mood shifts and the thinking that evolves between paintings.” Throughout the exhibition, related drawings were placed near crucial paintings to give viewers a sense of the process that results in Rothenberg’s dynamic and often, strange imagery.
This exhibition was organized by Chief Curator Michael Auping.