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Susan Rothenberg in "Memory"

A transplant from New York, Susan Rothenberg produces paintings that reflect her move to an isolated home studio in New Mexico and her evolving interest in the memory of observed and experienced events. In her early career, she became noted for her series of large paintings of horses.

Now, however, she does not find herself creating series. “The paintings are more of a battle to satisfy myself now and I don’t have a sense of series,” she says. Drawing on material from her daily life, she confesses that in her current work “the second painting seems to complete the series.”

Sitting in her studio, Rothenberg speaks candidly about her working process and her occasional battles with artistic block.

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Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Assistant Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Alice Bertoni. Production Coordinator: Kelly Shindler. Producer: Charles Atlas. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Host: Isabella Rossellini. Director of Photography: Takahisa Araki, Norbert Arnsteiner, Martial Barrault, Kurt Branstetter, Bob Elfstrom, Mead Hunt, Nancy Schreiber, Joel Shapiro, & Dyanna Taylor. Sound: Tom Bergin, Ray Day, Lori Dovi, Jim Gallup, Stacy Hruby, Gary Silver, Jean-Pierre Vial, Ullrich Vlasak, & Merce Williams. Gaffer: Todd Csernecky, Lamar Bloodworth, Ted Hayash, & Mike Lamb. Grip: Michele De Lorimier & Darryl Miller. Assistant Camera: Sean Brown, Marie Chao, Brian Hwang, Kipjaz Savoie, Dave Wightman, Lievan van Hulle, & Yahia Zadek. Production Assistant: Xavier Ballandras, Larry Fojtik, Michaela Hoeck, Kathy Kniss, Justin Leitstein, Mary Jo Mauro, Alexei Van Mourik, Scott Resnick, & Rob Zalkind. Assistant Avid Editor: Robert Achs, Jamie Courville, Sean Frechette, Mike Heffron, David Kreger, Cara Leroy O’Connell, Joaquin Perez, Aaron Sheddrick, & Lynn True. Still Photography: Alice Bertoni & Bob Elfstrom.

Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Design & Animation: Open, New York. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie & Frame:Runner NYC. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins, Greg Smith, & Dog Bark Sound. Sound Mix: Tony Volante & Sound Lounge. Animation Stand: Frank Ferrigno & Frame:Runner NYC. Introductory Host Segments Created by: INTERspectacular. Commissioned Video Art by: Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler.

Artworks Courtesy of: Mike Kelley; Josiah McElheny; Susan Rothenberg; Hiroshi Sugimoto; © 2005 Susan Rothenberg / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © 2005 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Succession Marcel Duchamp; Des Moines Art Center; Electronic Arts Intermix; Jablonka Galerie, Köln; Metro Pictures, New York; Sperone Westwater, New York; & Donald Young Gallery, Chicago. Archival Footage Courtesy of: Artist Network Pictures/Takahisa Araki.

Special Thanks: Gen Aihara; The Art21 Board of Trustees; Tatiana Bliss; Hervé Chandès; Linda Chenit; Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain; Curious Pictures; Michael Davis Stained Glass; Bernhard Fleischer; Martha Friedman; Andrea Hall; Achim Hochdörfer; Miani Johnson; Norman Keyes; Tomoko Kimata; Dominic Mercier; Michelle Menotti; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien; Karen Polack; Grazia Quaroni; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Anders Rydstedt; Soundtrack F/T; Gregg Stanger; Mary Clare Stevens; Jennifer Tobias; Valley Plaza Recreation Center, North Hollywood; & Lisa Williamson.

Director of Education & Outreach: Jessica Hamlin. Director of Development: Kathi Pavlick. Development Associate: Sara Simonson.

Interns: Susan Agliata, Nathan Townes-Anderson, Hannah Blumenthal, Agnes Bolt, Lisa Charde, Mary Chou, Kate Crawford, Amanda Donnan, Sophie Dunoyer de Segonzac, Suzy Foster, Jules Gaffney, Katie Hen, Heather Hughes, Adam Krakowski, Georgia Kung, David Mark Kupperberg, Maiko Kyogoku, Phil Logan, Lisa Margulies, Michelle Maydanchik, Carla Meyers, Christine Miller, Geoffrey Pan, Sujay Pandit, Jihan Robinson, Jennifer Sarkilahti, Megan Scally, Karen Seapker, Greg Shilling, Sarah Sliwa, Jennifer Smith, & Elizabeth Swift.

Public Relations: Kelly & Salerno Communications. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: Marea Alverio-Chaveco & William Handy.

Major underwriting for Season 3 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Bagley Wright Fund Bloomberg, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg’s early work—large acrylic, figurative paintings—came to prominence in the 1970s New York art world, a time and place almost completely dominated and defined by Minimalist aesthetics and theories. Rothenberg’s paintings since the 1990s reflect her move from New York to New Mexico, her adoption of oil painting, and her new-found interest in using the memory of observed and experienced events as an armature for creating a painting. These scenes excerpted from daily life, whether highlighting an untoward event or a moment of remembrance, come to life through Rothenberg’s thickly layered and nervous brushwork.

“When I stumbled on the horse I went, ‘Okay, this can be my Jasper Johns flagI can draw a line through it and make it flat. I can take all the things that I’ve learned in the last couple years and negate painting as much as possible in terms of illusionism and shadow and composition.”

Susan Rothenberg

Art & Rural Places

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Rackstraw Downes

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The Studio

Susan Rothenberg discusses her 2003 painting Red Studio, as well as the process she’s developed for composing and painting her pictures.

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