Des Moines Art Center features Susan Rothenberg as Printmaker

Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith or Jordan Powers
Tel: 515.271.0343 or 515.271.0344 or

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DES MOINES, IOWA (OCTOBER 2019) – On Friday, November 8, the Des Moines Art Center will open Susan Rothenberg as Printmaker. The exhibition will be on view through February 9, 2020 in the John Brady Print Gallery.

American artist Susan Rothenberg is known for her nearly abstract, glyph-like paintings and drawings of horses. “I had been doing abstract paintings, using a central dividing line so as to keep the painting on the surface and call attention to the canvas,” Rothenberg explained in 1976. “The horse was just something that happened on both sides of my line.” 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 personal approaches to creating 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 30 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 printmaker (some as tall as seven feet), and showcase her steadfast dedication to the medium.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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