Susan Rothenberg, Jughead, 1979, acrylic on canvas, 4’ 11½” × 3’ 7½”. Photo by Roy M. Elkind. Courtesy of Willard Gallery.
An exhibition of the work of Susan Rothenberg, one time proto-punk and current mistress of the iconography of angst, will occur at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam this fall. The exhibit will contain works from 1977–82, including twelve paintings which have never been shown, many completed within the past six months.
The newest works include as their content, the atmosphere, the place, where the mystical image junctures occur. The earlier works were totemic, iconic; these new ones are scapes. The paintings are so beautifully and calmly made, the content awesome, fearsome. I said, “These brush strokes are so rhythmic, do you sing while you work?” “Yes,” she said, and she sang the song that she sings.
—Mary Heilmann, 1982