The Show...




Art Rothenberg:  A Retrospective Exhibition at Simon's Rock College of Bard

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Simon's Rock College of Bard has chosen to honor Art Rothenberg of South Egremont with this retrospective exhibition showing a selection of larger paintings in the Doreen Young Gallery and a group of early and late works in the Atrium of the College Library. Press Release October 3, 2003

An artist makes choices throughout his creative life as to medium, content and technique. Rothenberg has been able to reinvigorate his art many times which makes this exhibition so varied and interesting, showing oils, watercolors, prints, resist inks and tile paintings done from the 30's to the present.

This show illustrates a long, adventurous artistic journey. In the 30's Rothenberg responded to the turbulence of prewar American life. Then a mural, illustrating a plan to protect American bombers over Europe, painted for General Curtis LeMay,led to his appointment as a Combat Artist assigned to document the danger and destruction in England for the Eighth Airforce.

Interestingly, after the war, his content changed to reflect a less ominous view of the world. Those paintings show farmers, fishermen, men and women in their everyday tasks, with vigor and strong feeling but less conflict.

Rothenberg has described his large tile paintings as his response to the glowing colors of stained glass which he helped to restore before returning to the U.S. These paintings have been shown to acclaim around the world. He was invited to exhibit his work in Albany when the new (now old) State Office Buildings opened in the administration of Nelson Rockefeller. In 1999, he showed his tile paintings in Valencia, Spain ( long a center of ceramic arts). He has had one-man shows at the Guild Hall in East Hampton, as well as in galleries in New York City and Philadelphia.

Now 85, Rothenberg has once again changed his technique, painting large, bright resist-ink watercolors which almost defy the definition. The exhibition is interesting aesthetically because Rothenberg has been willing to change his style while always working in a way that is understandable to his viewers. It is interesting historically to see the evolution of an artist over a long period of time, always finding pleasure in creating beauty.

Simon's Rock College, Great Barrington, MA from October 17 through November 16. Opening reception on Saturday October 18, 2-4PM in the Doreen Young Gallery. Gallery hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2-10PM. Library hours 7 days a week. Directions l More information.