from the exhibition at Castello di Rapallo

Excerpt from catalog:

Toward the Abstract Iconic: Recent Work by Barbara Rosenzweig
By Ronny Cohen, Ph.D.

The exhibition at the Castle of Rapallo highlights the compelling vision of painter Barbara Rosenzweig. On view among the impressive examples of recent work is a striking presentation of the beauty, power and ultimate mystery of painting. For all their reductive appearance, the paintings on display come across as soaring, substantial, purely scintillating creations. Surfaces decidedly smooth and light filled are deliciously iconic. Brilliant passages of color, bold placements of line, layers of gesso and oil pigment are among the features of her paintings that beckon, appealing directly to the mind’s eye and one’s center of imagination.

Rosenzweig’s interest in interactions of line and form seen in the paintings she has done, exploring the possibilities of an essential vocabulary comprised of diagonals and wedge shapes and off-centered trapezoidal structures focuses attention on one of the important recurrent concerns in the history of abstraction. Starting with the early 20th century avant-garde movements of Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism and New-Plasticism, the relationship of line and form was deemed a key issue. In the 1950s and 1960s certain artists like mid-20th century American abstract painter Alice Trumball Mason, and classic Minimalists Agnes Martin and John McLaughlin chose to consider this relationship as did the Post-Minimalist painter Dorothea Rockburne in the 1980s. Rosenzweig is putting her own stamp on this issue. It raises for her the question as she puts it: “Does line create the form or does form create the line? Her open attitude to the force generating potential of each, perhaps helps account for the dynamic sensations so striking, especially in those compositions where lines have been given a particular emphasis. Added clarity brings out the forms the lines define and the directions the lines depict. The luminous vibrant structures reveal the painting’s emotive underpinnings.

…Marked by creative growth and self-discovery the road she has traveled is leading directly to the forefront of new developments in abstract painting today.