“Most artists really wish they had a series where one painting would lead to the next painting and it would be a variation on it. That’s what happened in my early career—the horses. Now the paintings are more of a battle to satisfy myself with and I do not have a sense of series. As you see here: there are two snake paintings, two paintings about this idea called meaningless gestures, two paintings that are reflection of my domestic situation in the house. With each of them, the second painting seems to complete the series. I’d like to get a hold of something and be on that idea for a couple of years at least—but that’s not happening at the moment.”
For my part, I’d rather see painters like Rothenberg cast about and explore new ideas than latch onto a single motif and beat it to death. I hope the days of painters making fifty nearly identical paintings are behind us. In my view, Rothenberg should feel more liberated than rueful.
Louise Fishman: Ignoring aesthetic wanderlust
Holland Cotter: Unadventurous painting is everywhere (at least in New York)
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