Artist biography

American painter, printmaker and draughtswoman. From an early age she was encouraged by family, teachers and friends to pursue her interests in art. When still at school she took art classes at her local museum (now Buffalo, NY, Albright–Knox A.G.), which she frequently visited from the early 1950s to the late 1960s. She then studied at the Fine Arts School, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1962–5); she also studied sculpture at the State University of New York, Buffalo (summer 1964). In the mid 1960s influences upon her included Lucas Samaras, Larry Poons, Jasper Johns and Robert Morris. Rothenberg moved to New York in 1969 and lived among a dedicated community of both young and established artists. She briefly assisted Nancy Graves and appeared in several performances by Joan Jonas (b. 1936). After an important period of experimentation with process art from 1969 to 1972 she painted her first early mature works depicting horses, for which she became renowned. The painting Axes (1976; New York, MOMA) and other images that include isolated body fragments, dancers, spinners and other figures are autobiographical in origin; in them she explored and articulated an interest in the unconscious process. Examples of Rothenberg's work are in MOMA, New York, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

J. Simons: Susan Rothenberg (New York, 1991)
Susan Rothenberg: Paintings and Drawings (exh. cat., Buffalo, NY, Albright–Knox A.G., and elsewhere, 1993–4)

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