Miami Art Museum. Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place

From Nov 7th, 2010 through Mar 6th, 2011.

altIn November 2010, Miami Art Museum (MAM) presents Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place, the artist’s first museum show in over a decade and first exhibition in South Florida. The exhibition features a select group of 25 paintings ranging from Rothenberg’s early horse paintings of the mid-1970s to her most recent body of work, and explores a number of central motifs that have occurred throughout her 35-year career. Included in the exhibition are two major paintings from Miami Art Museum’s permanent collection, Folded Buddha (1987–88) and Pin Wheel (1988).

“Over the years, Susan Rothenberg has sought to deconstruct the very practice of painting, charting a bold new path in the process and working in the grey area where figuration and abstraction meet,” said Peter Boswell, MAM assistant director for programs and senior curator. “Her unique approach and her refusal to accept established categories prefigured the emphasis on expressive freedom of the 1980s and the cross-pollination between styles and genres that characterizes much of current contemporary art. This exhibition underlines the consistency of her concerns while also highlighting the inventiveness she has displayed over the past three and a half decades.”

Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place consists of a select group of 25 paintings ranging from the mid-1970s to the present. Even as Rothenberg’s images have changed radically over the course of her career, certain tendencies have remained constant, reflecting how the artist sees and reconstructs the world through a series of shifting pictorial structures that create a spinning or torquing spatial scenario. The exhibition explores the evolution of this “frozen motion,” as the artist has referred to it, from the early horse paintings such as Cabin Fever (1976), which depicts the simple outline of a horse jumping into action; to her spinning and turning figures of the 1980s and early 1990s, such as Folded Buddha (1987 – 88) and Pin Wheel (1988); to the action scenes that emerged shortly after she moved to a ranch in Galisteo, New Mexico, such as Dogs Killing Rabbit (1991 – 2) and Accident #2 (1993 – 94); to her most recent series of disembodied hands and arms swinging around the space of the paintings like dismembered marionettes.

For the past thirty-five years, Susan Rothenberg has been recognized as one of the most important painters in the United States. Her first solo exhibition in New York in 1975, consisting of three large-scale paintings of horses, was heralded for introducing imagery into minimalist abstraction and bringing a new sensitivity to figuration. Peter Schjeldahl, of The New Yorker, called the show “a eureka moment,” stating that “the large format of the pictures was a gesture of ambition,” and that “the mere reference to something really existing was astonishing.” Since then, Rothenberg’s work has been exhibited and collected extensively and is represented in major museums throughout the United States and abroad.

Miami Art Museum
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130

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