'Susan Rothenberg: Moving in Place,' Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

When Susan Rothenberg made a number of surprising paintings of horses in the mid-1970s, she was pegged as an initiator of a "return" to figurative art that was deeply informed by abstraction. Horses, a stereotypical subject for women ever since Rosa Bonheur became a major painter in 19th century France, also assumed a slyly feminist charge. This exhibition of 25 carefully chosen canvases from the last 35 years means to shift the focus -- away from the specifics of Rothenberg's figurative content and toward the complex organization of space in otherwise seemingly simple paintings. In the 1970s, her work was positioned as a rebellion against the domination of formalist issues in art; now, her work will be examined for its formal sophistication. Opens Oct. 18 Above: "Hands and Shadows" is a 1978-79 work by Susan Rothenberg in acrylic and flashe on canvas.The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth / Courtesy Ann and Steven Ames / Susan Rothenberg