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Dorothea Rockburne
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Verdun, Quebec
Known as a Minimalist, Dorothea Rockburne’s art is an intellectual investigation. Using a variety of surfaces (e.g., paper, board, linen, plastic), Rockburne drew, laminated, colored, varnished, layered and folded them, establishing complicated works that ranged from austerity to flamboyance. She utilized the concept of a mathematical set, numbers that satisfy a given condition (see EDUCATION). She discarded the tradition of stretched canvas as a basis for painting by folding it into geometric forms derived from the mathematical relationship known as “the golden section. Her print projects, too, have been complex and unconventional, employing folded and printed paper. Notable works are the Locus etchings and Radiance and Melencolia lithographs. The six Locus prints, which can be considered separately or as a series, were begun in 1972 and completed over a three-year period. Paper was folded before it was run through a press so that embossed lines would be created from the edges and folds. The prints were sold in this state and had to be unfolded in order to be enjoyed. Rockburne is also a sculptress and muralist (see MISCELLANEOUS) and has been interested in the early Renaissance, especially in Italy. BIRTH YEAR NOTE: Various sources list the artist’s birth year as 1921, 1929 or 1934. RESIDENCE: New York City EDUCATION: The Montreal Museum School 1947-1950 Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris 1951-1956 BFA, Black Mountain College, Berea, North Carolina (at BMC, an experimental school, Rockburne met Max Dehn, a theoretical mathematician who influenced her thinking) ACADEMIC POSITIONS: School of Visual Arts, New York City Bard College, New York AWARDS include: 1985 Brandeis University Creative Arts Award ASSOCIATIONS WITH MAJOR PRINTING PRESSES and PUBLISHERS: Gemini G.E.L. Parasol Press - exclusively a publisher Crown Point Press MISCELLANEOUS: -Created art-in-public places mural, Hilton Hotel, San Jose, California (date undetermined) -Colleague of Chuck Close, whose oil portrait of her was exhibited in "Chuck Close, Recent Paintings", Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York, 1995-1996. -As of 1997, member of the Alexandria Society, an organization devoted to the study of philosophical, spiritual and cosmological concepts based on Egyptian tradition. SELECTED ONE-PERSON EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 (undetermined) 1980-1989 -Hartford College of Art -David Bellman Gallery, Toronto -Xavier Fourcade, Inc. -Galleriet, Lund, Sweden -Margo Leavin Gallery 1970-1979 -Lisson Gallery, London -Galleria Schema, Florence -Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco -Galerie Charles Kriwin, Brussels -Ileana Sonnabend Gallery, Paris -New Gallery, Cleveland -University of Rochester -Galleria Toselli, Milan -Bykert Gallery, New York (1970 - Rockburne’s first one-woman show) SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS include: 1990-1997 -Thirty-Five Years at Crown Point Press: Making Prints, Doing Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (June-September, 1997), FAMSF (October 1997-January 1998) -Painterly Thought, RAAB Galerie, Berlin -Inside/Outside, Photography by 10 Contemporary Sculptors, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York -What I Did on My Summer Vacation, a benefit photography project at White Columns, New York’s oldest alternative space (founded 1969) 1980-1989 -A Century of Modern Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York -Abstract Drawings, 1911-1981, Whitney Museum of American Art -Language, Drama Source and Vision, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York -Art on Paper, University of North Carolina -Gemini G.E.L.: Art and Collaboration, National Gallery, Washington 1970-1979 -Line as Language: 6 Artists Draw, Princeton Art Museum, New Jersey -Eight Contemporary Artists, Museum of Modern Art, New York -Whitney Museum of American Art Annuals, New York -The Art Institute of Chicago -Chicago/Contemporary, White on White -Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto -Documenta V & VI, Kassel -3D into 2D, New York Cultural Center -American Drawings: 1963-1973, Whitney Museum of American Art -Eight Contemporary Artist, Museum of Modern Art, New York -The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. -Extraordinary Women, Museum of Modern Art, New York -Drawing Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York -American Drawings in Black and White: 1970-1979, The Brooklyn Museum