cover image Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg

Rizzoli, David Hickey, Susan Rothenberg. Rizzoli International Publications, $35 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1595-1

Rothenberg's austere yet psychologically charged depictions of horses, painted in the 1970s, are justly celebrated. More problematic are her abstract figures of the 1980s and early 1990s, a melange of animals, surreal landscapes, frenetic dancers and jugglers, hybrid human-animal figures and contorted torsos. This handsomely illustrated catalog of a traveling exhibit which opened at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., surveys the artist's entire career. Auping, the gallery's chief curator, sees Rothenberg's more recent work as a psychobiography, a search for the bare essentials of self. He suggestively likens her approach to that of Willem de Kooning in her oscillation between meditating on the figure and mutilating it. Nearly 30 drawings are included, which enable readers to track her image-making process. In a 1991 interview conducted in her New Mexico studio, Rothenberg explains how her encounters with light, space and red earth help her ``tap the angst'' within. (Feb.)