The Easel

26th May 2020

Susan Rothenberg’s Rugged Paintings Made Her One of Today’s Most Fearless Artists

For her first show in 1975 Rothenberg produced figurative works … of horses. It caused a sensation in abstraction–obsessed New York and launched her career. But why horses? They didn’t come from an art theory idea, just her intuition. A reviewer of Rothenberg’s just-finished show comments that her horses are like cave art, “fundamentally ambiguous”. Ascribing meaning is the viewer’s task and as Rothenberg noted, “they getcha or they don’t.”

19th May 2020

Winning Hand

New York Interior (1921) is Hopper par excellence – calm, focused on the commonplace. What makes it a favourite of the writer? “It’s a painting that … takes great bother to extend the tradition of Velazquez and Vermeer – oil painting as a portal to serenity and stillness, to inner life. It has something to do, I think, with the absent needle and thread and with an idea of repair. And it has to do, I feel sure, with people … unseen… unknown.”

Luchita Hurtado’s Persistent Perspective

This show, acclaimed in London, has been cut short in Los Angeles. It gives the reviewer space to considering Hurtado’s own arduous story. She was in her 50’s before identifying as an artist and yet more decades before any acknowledgement from the art establishment. Has being female cursed her art career? “[Its been] an obstacle but also a source of insight and even artistic liberation … seclusion allowed Hurtado to create art unencumbered.”