Susan Rothenberg as Printmaker


John brady print gallery

November 8, 2019–February 9, 2020

American artist Susan Rothenberg (b. 1945) is known for her nearly abstract, glyph-like paintings and drawings of horses. Just as compelling are her prints, which in addition to focusing on the equine, display the artist’s interest in depicting and dissecting the human figure. Rothenberg plunged into printmaking during the late 1970s, and within the ensuing years generated numerous editions of etchings, lithographs, mezzotints, and woodcuts. As she became familiar with the technique, Rothenberg began to take personable approaches to crafting her prints. This included coloring individual sheets by hand — creating unique works that stand apart from one another within the same edition — or drawing onto lithography stones with sticks of grease-soaked charcoal, in order to create an expressionist composition.

Susan Rothenberg as Printmaker features more than two dozen prints by the artist from the Des Moines Art Center’s permanent collections, most of which were generously gifted to the Art Center by John and Mary Pappajohn in 1991. The works, created between 1977 and 1990, provide an excellent example of the artist’s skill as a printmaker (some as tall as 7 feet), and showcase her steadfast dedication to the medium. This exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator Jared Ledesma.

Above:Susan Rothenberg (American, born 1945)
Publisher: Universal Limited Art Editions (ULAE) (founded 1957)
Blue Violin, 1986
Color woodcut on paper / 70 × 46 × 2 1/2 inches
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of John and Mary Pappajohn, 1991.80

entirely unexpected