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Susan Rothenberg in Ft. Worth – Now in Santa Fe


by Jerome Weeks 8 Apr 2010

Moving in Place, the retrospective of Susan Rothenberg’s paintings that originated at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth last fall is now at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe — prompting the New York Times to write about how similar the two painters’ careers have become. For instance: O’Keeffe lived in New Mexico, […]

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rothenberg-cabin-fever-1976Moving in Place, the retrospective of Susan Rothenberg’s paintings that originated at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth last fall is now at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe — prompting the New York Times to write about how similar the two painters’ careers have become. For instance: O’Keeffe lived in New Mexico, of course, and Rothenberg has been, too, for the past 20 years; both married major artists — the photographer Stieglitz and multi-media artist Bruce Nauman, respectively. Both were New York biggies before heading out west — and finding new subjects to paint. (Rothenberg’s Cabin Fever, acrylic, 1976 — left)

Certainly there are major differences between the two, including their approaches to painting. “Both made serious breakthroughs” as painters, said Michael Auping, the chief curator of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where the show originated, who organized this show. “But they’re sort of polar opposites in many ways.”

“O’Keeffe’s use of abstraction was pretty radical” in the years before she turned to figurative work, he said, while “Susan reintroduced figuration in the early 1970s after abstract painting had been dominant for many decades.”

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