Gray is pleased to present an exclusive video interview with Michael Auping, consulting curator of the exhibition, Susan Rothenberg: On Both Sides of My Line. In his interview, Auping elucidates the early years of Rothenberg's career in New York and the ways in which her horses challenged the status quo. "I see these early horse paintings as icons," says Auping. "I see them as really clear points that something new was happening."
Created between 1974 and 1977, Rothenberg’s profile horse paintings exemplify a shift in the artist’s approach to abstraction through the introduction and exploration of figuration. Moving away from the influence of Abstract Expressionism, Rothenberg began this seminal series in response to the contemporary zeitgeist of the 1970s. With Color Field painting, Minimalism, performance, and neo-primitivism at the forefront, Rothenberg employed tactics from various schools to define her own pictorial language. “I didn’t want the horse to be neutral," stated Rothenberg in a past interview. "I wanted it to have more guts. The same way an abstract painter would want their gestures to say something about them or the world. It was never about making a pretty horse. It was something else.”
Susan Rothenberg: On Both Sides of My Line is on view at Gray Chicago from Sep 10 - Oct 9, 2021, and at Gray New York from Oct 29 - Dec 10, 2021.
A Frieze Studios film. All images © 2021 The Estate of Susan Rothenberg / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Video © Gray, Chicago/New York.