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Raquel Rabinovich

 (born 1929)
Raquel Rabinovich is active/lives in New York.  Raquel Rabinovich is known for river symbolism, site-specific sculpture.

Raquel Rabinovich

Biography from the Archives of askART

The following, submitted September 2004, is from the artist, whose studio is in Rhinebeck, New York.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 1929
Moved to the United States in 1967
Became an American citizen in 1973

Ever since the '60s I have experienced the unfolding of a passionate interest to connect with what I call 'the dark.' That is to say, with what is concealed behind the surface of things, of words, of thoughts, of the world. This interest set in motion an investigation, a long and open-ended journey into the dark in search of the invisible so that I could 'see,' of the unknown so that I could 'know.'

Currently, this quest has taken me into an exploration of the nature of rivers. Rivers change as they remain the same. While their waters constantly flow, their sediments accrete layer upon layer. I use water and stones from the Hudson River to construct sculptures, and sediment from various rivers to make drawings.

"Emergences" is the name of an ongoing series of sculpture installations that I am creating on the shores of the Hudson River. Although each installation is site-specific, they all consist of natural stones arranged to reveal the rhythmic cycles of emergence and submergence created twice a day by the river tides. At high tide the sculptures are submerged in the river. The waters claim my art. At low tide they reappear and then the earth reclaims them. The pieces manifest the relationship between visibility and invisibility, the illusion of permanence and the reality of impermanence.Merging with their surroundings, the pieces resonate with the ever-changing currents of the waters, the weather, the seasons. In turn they echo our own existence.

Human life unfolds like "Emergences." Moment to moment, the sculptures remain sculptures and we remain ourselves. Yet both the sculptures and we are in a perpetual state of flux. Some of the changes are predictable, others are unexpected; some are gradual and barely perceptible, others are sudden and dramatic. These pieces have no edges and no fixed dimensions.They are revealed and concealed in slow time. Eventually, over time, the river will reclaim the sculptures and will render them forever invisible.

"River Library" is anongoing series of drawings on hand-made Indian paper, created with sediment from various rivers including the Hudson, the Ganges, and the Ayeyarwadi. Mud is the world in one place, its history in one moment. Mud is a residue, a trace, a memory,the remains of the world.Space being covered by time. For me the process of making mud drawings reenacts the history of the earth, for the drawings originate in chaos, in the unformed darkness of mud. In their making, they unfold from disorder into order and form. Submergence and emergence. Invisibility and visibility. The accumulation of layers of sediment in the drawings parallels the very formation of sediment itself in the depths of the river. Enfolded in the sediment there is an unspoken, unwritten text: concealed histories of the earth, people, cultures. Libraries hint at what is knowable and unknowable, at mysteries and wonder, at imaginable and unimaginable realms. My drawings are pages of books of an infinite library.


1958 -The University, Edinburgh, Scotland
1956-57 -Atelier Andre Lhote, Paris, France -La Sorbonne, Paris, France
1950-52 -Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina


2001 -Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant
1995 -Individual Artists' Program of the NY State Council on the Arts Grant
1992 -National Endowment for the Arts US/France Fellowship
1991 -National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship
1986 -Artists Space Grant
1982 -Artists Space Grant
1978 -CETA Grant


2004 -Threshold, sculpture memorial, Marbletown Rail Trail, Stone Ridge, NY
2003 -Emergences video documentary , Deep Listening Space, POF, Kingston, NY
2001-present -Emergences (ongoing project of site-specific sculpture installations on the shores of the Hudson River -Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, PA; curated by Ricardo Viera
1990 -Beyond the Surface (3-person exhibition), "Chhodrtens," Americas Society, New York City; curated by Fatima Bercht
1986 -Invisible Cities, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City; curated by Holly Block
1985 -C Space, New York City
1983 -New Spaces (3-person exhibition), "The Map is not the Territory," Center for Inter- American Relations, New York City; curated by John Stringer
1980 -Shelter, Institute for Art and Urban Resources at P.S.1, New York City
1979 -Cloister, Crossing, Passageway, 1.32, The Jewish Museum Sculpture Court (outdoor installation), New York City
1978 -Cloister, Crossing, Passageway, 1.32, The City University of New York Graduate Center Mall (indoor installation), New York City; curated by Ray Ring
1974 -Hecksher Museum. Huntington, NY


2004 -Art on Paper 2004, Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC; curated by Ron Platt
2003 -Voces y Visiones; Highlights from El Museo del Barrio's Permanent Collection, El Museo del Barrio, New York City
2003 -Imaging the River, "Liquid Library," Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; guest curated by Amy Lipton
-Sticks and Stones II, "River Tones," Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, NY; guest curated by Grace Knowlton
-US Arts Campsite, "Within /Without," University Settlement Campus, Beacon, NY
2002 -Miami Currents, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
-blobs, wiggles and dots, webs and crustillations, The Work Space, New York City; guest curated by Lucio Pozzi
-Abstract Dilemmas: The American Abstract Artists, Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
2001 -New Acquisitions, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL
2000 -Toward The New, AAA, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, Greenvale, NY
-Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, "Invisible City" (sculpture installation) for Deep Listening Day 2000 (Pauline Oliveros' "Lunar Opera"), New York City
-Drawings and Photographs, Exhibition to Benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York City

Articles, Reviews, Books, and Exhibition Brochures and Catalogues

2004 -Women Environmental Artists Directory (WEAD)
-Brenner, Hedwig. Judische Frauen in der bildenden Kunst II, Germany, illus.
-Aguilar, Margarita. "Raquel Rabinovich," Modern and Contemporary Art, Highlights
from El Museo del Barrio's Permanent Collection, catalogue, illus.
2003 -Zimmer, William. "Out of the Water, Inspiration," The New York Times, December 28
-Lipton, Amy and Maitinsky, Jean-Paul. "Reconsidering the River" (Imaging the River exhibition brochure), Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, illus.
2002 -Weintraub, Linda. "Chronicles of Time" ( Emergences brochure), illus.
-Aldana, Erin. "Raquel Rabinovich," St. James Guide to Hispanic Artists, illus.
2001 -"The Time of the Gazing: A Glance at Raquel Rabinovich," a 29-min. video documentary produced by Camilo Rojas (interviews with John Isaac, Charles Stein, and Linda Weintraub; music by Pauline Oliveros)
2000 -Phillips, Patricia C. "Exhumed Light" (Light Unworn exhibition brochure), Trans Hudson Gallery, New York City, illus.
1999 -Krauss, Nicole. "Raquel Rabinovich at Trans Hudson," Art in America, July, illus.
1998 -Levi Strauss, David. "In Praise of Darkness" (Enfolded Darkness exhibition brochure), Trans Hudson Gallery, New York City, illus.
1997 -Cotter, Holland. "Reflections of a Splintered Era," The New York Times, May 16 -"Re-Aligning Vision. Alternative Currents in South American Drawing" (exhibition catalogue), edited by Mari Carmen Ramirez, published in conjunction with the traveling exhibition of the same title, University of Texas at Austin, illus.
1996 -Raquel Rabinovich. The Dark is the Source of Light, texts by Linda Weintraub and George Quasha, Contemporary Artists Collection, Station Hill Arts, illus. -Herzberg, Julia P. "Raquel Rabinovich: Drawings 1978-1995" (exhibition brochure), INTAR Gallery, New York City, illus.
1994 -Arte de America Latina: 1900-1980, text by Marta Traba, Banco Internacional de-Desarrollo, Washington , DC
1992 -Smith, Patrick. "The Persistence of Abstraction," American Abstract Artists, (exhibition
catalogue), The E.A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, illus.
1990 -Bercht, Fatima. "Raquel Rabinovich" (exhibition catalogue), Beyond the Surface: Chhodrtens, Americas Society, New York City, illus.
-Kimmelman, Michael. "Review/Art," The New York Times, April 27
-Zimmer, William. "Beyond the Surface," Arts Magazine, October
1987 -Larsen, Susan. "American Abstract Artists 50th Anniversary Print Portfolio 1987" (exhibition catalogue), The James Howe Gallery, Kean College, Union, NJ, illus.
1986 -Glueck, Grace. "Critics' Choices," The New York Times, October 19
-Schwabsky, Barry. "The Plural City of Raquel Rabinovich" (Invisible Cities exhibition brochure), The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City, illus.
1985 -Vega, Lorenzo. "Synaesthetics at P.S.1," Connexions, May
1984 -"An Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture" (exhibition brochure), Anderson Center Gallery, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, illus.
1983 -Collins, George R. "Raquel Rabinovich," Arts Magazine, February
-Zimmer, William. "A Looking Glass on the Way We Might Live," The New York Times, June 12
-Wallach, Amei. "Contemplating Beyond What We See," Newsday, March 10
-Denes, Agnes. "Raquel Rabinovich" (exhibition brochure), New Spaces: The Map is not the Territory, Center for Inter-American Relations, New York City, illus.
1981 -Zimmer, William. "Raquel Rabinovich: Esculturas y Dibujos 1981" (exhibition catalogue), Galeria Garces Velasquez, Bogota, Colombia, illus.
1979 -Glueck, Grace. "New Sculpture Under the Sun," The New York Times, August 3, illus.

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About  Raquel Rabinovich

Born:  1929 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Known for:  river symbolism, site-specific sculpture