In 1970s New York, conceptual art and minimalism were all the rage. But there was still a group of artists who privileged figuration. The artist Susan Rothenberg, who died in May of 2020, was one of them. “Careful consideration was taken of the rules being broken,” she told The New York Times in 1986. Rothenberg was known for painting large equine forms that seemed to float in primeval space—images akin to a retinal imprint, or a shadow. The color palette was muted. “The horse was a way of not doing people,” she explained, “yet it was a symbol of people, a self-portrait, really.” Rothenberg married Bruce Nauman in 1989 and moved to New Mexico, where she worked alongside Agnes Martin and Georgia O’Keeffe. Celebrating an enigmatic artist, this exhibition includes 20 paintings that trace Rothenberg’s evolution over five decades. —E.C.
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