Susan Rothenberg. Triphammer Bridge, 1974. Acrylic and tempera on canvas. 67 1/8″ x 9′ 7 3/8″ (170.5 x 292.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Edward R. Broida.
Installation Marks the Artist’s First Solo Presentation at MoMA and Includes Rarely Seen Works
The Museum of Modern Art announces Susan Rothenberg, the first solo presentation of the artist’s work at the Museum, on view from April 15 through June 12, 2022. Installed in the Donald and Catherine Marron Family Atrium, the presentation will include a dozen paintings, all drawn from MoMA’s collection, that span the arc of the artist’s career over nearly five decades. Susan Rothenberg is organized by Cara Manes, Associate Curator, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
At the start of her career in the early 1970s, Susan Rothenberg (1945–2020) began painting ambitious, critically acclaimed images of horses, such as Triphammer Bridge (1974) and Black in Place (1976), which are both included in this installation. Deploying what would become a signature palette dominated by dirty whites and muted reds, Rothenberg bisected, isolated, and flattened her equine subjects, breaking past representational painting conventions of shadow and composition.
By the early 1980s, Rothenberg moved from the horse to the human body, rendering forms in motion or in fragments. Emblematic of this shift in subject matter is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (1988), a major commission of six paintings that she created for the PaineWebber Group’s 38th-floor corporate dining room in Manhattan. In the early 1990s, Rothenberg relocated to the New Mexico desert with her husband, Bruce Nauman, and began to depict objects and experiences in her immediate surroundings. Works such as Dogs Killing Rabbit (1991-92) portray her continued experimentation with both subject matter and composition, often presenting scenes from multiple vantage points.
This presentation of paintings drawn from across Rothenberg’s career is a celebration of the artist and her legacy at MoMA. In total, the Museum’s collection includes over 40 works by Rothenberg, reflecting all the mediums that she explored: painting, drawing, and printmaking.
Support for this exhibition is provided by The Museum of Modern Art’s Annual Exhibition Fund.
Leadership contributions are generously provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, the Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Eva and Glenn Dubin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi Haas, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund, the Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, MarieJosée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder.
Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.