Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg was best known for her paintings of animals and figurative scenes using quick, gestural brushstrokes and rich colors. Rothenberg was born in Buffalo, New York and attended Cornell University, graduating with a B.F.A. and then briefly studying at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. She later moved to New York to study dance, and began exhibiting her paintings in the mid-1970s, noted for their purified figurative imagery amidst the height of Minimalist art. Rothenberg first received critical acclaim for her series of horses, often painted life-size, in bold outlines and with lush colors; she frequently used the simplified horse’s form as a vehicle to explore the textural and luminous properties of paint. After moving to New Mexico, she turned her attention to depicting specific remembered experiences, ranging from a riding accident to the ordinary act of walking a dog; her impressions of the southwestern American landscape often influenced the unusual perspective of these works. Rothenberg held solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Tate Gallery in London, among several other venues. She was honored with the Skowhegan Medal for Painting and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.