Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

David Rabinowitch at the National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Canada - February 4, 2004

David Rabinowitch au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

The National Gallery of Canada is pleased to host one of the first large-scale Canadian retrospectives of sculptures, drawings and prints by David Rabinowitch. Works by the Canadian-born, New York-based contemporary artist will be on display in Ottawa from 6 February to 16 May 2004.

“David Rabinowitch is one of the most eminent Canadian sculptors of the 20th century,” says Pierre Théberge, director of the National Gallery of Canada. “We are delighted to present this exhibition, which features an innovative approach to the work of art itself and to the viewer's experience.”

Rabinowitch is internationally renowned for his large-scale steel sculptures and related works on paper, in which he wrestles with such central conditions of being as gravity, perception, space and time. Through his sculptures, he also explores abstract ideas using the relationships between shape, mass, thickness, pattern, solid and void. The Canadian-born, New York-based sculptor challenges traditional notions of sculpture by choosing to set his constructions directly on the floor or ground, which gives the viewer multiple points of view.

The exhibition highlights the cyclical development of Rabinowitch’s rigorous and concise sculptural and drawing techniques, largely inspired by the interrelationships between science, literature and philosophy.

“Rabinowitch’s aesthetic project is utterly original and, in some respects, unique, says the exhibition’s curator, Josée Bélisle, of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. “The act of observation, a premise of both creation and apprehension, is inherent in Rabinowitch’s practice, whether in his sculptures or in his drawings, which constitute two independent pursuits.”

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, this exhibition is composed of some 20 sculptures and numerous works on paper executed between the 1960s and 1995. For the first time in Canada, the works selected offer a critical overview of Rabinowitch's art as it has developed in major cycles spanning several decades.

These cycles include the conic planes, the metrical sculptures, the refined drawings of Construction of Vision, the more profuse and “expressive” drawings trees, and those of German Romanesque churches.

The National Gallery of Canada wishes to thank media sponsors The Ottawa Citizen, Le Droit, CBC Television and La Télévision de Radio-Canada for their invaluable support in bringing this exhibition to Ottawa.

A fully illustrated catalogue, produced by the National Gallery of Canada and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in separate English and French versions, accompanies the exhibition, and is available for sale in the NGC bookstore and on the Web.

A Bell audioguide — featuring commentary by David Rabinowitch himself, among others — is available for visitors who want to learn more about the works on display.

The public will have the opportunity to meet David Rabinowitch and discuss his work on Friday 6 February at 12:15 p.m.

Anouk Hoedeman
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
tel. (613) 990-6835
fax (613) 990-9824