For the Light | Artopia

Susan Rothenberg

A Closer Look

What do you think the artist Susan Rothenberg is trying to express? Does the title For the Light help you understand this painting? Notice how simple Rothenberg's horse is. Does this remind you of how artists drew animals a long time ago? This artwork is very light and bright. How does that make you feel about the horse? Where do you think the horse is located? What relationship do you think the artist has with the horse in this painting?

About the Painting

During the 1970s Susan Rothenberg painted a series of horses. For the Light is one of her early horse paintings. It is painted with only two colors, black and white. Artworks that use only one color are called monochromatic. Most of Rothenberg's paintings from the 1970s are almost monochromatic and the paint is applied with a nearly dry brush. Today she uses more colors and thicker paint in her artworks.

About the Artist

Susan Rothenberg moved to New York City in 1969, when Abstract art was very popular. One of her first paintings was a silhouette of a horse divided by a vertical line. It was nearly abstract but could still be recognized as a horse. During the 1980s she painted other subject matter in a semi-abstract style. In 1990 she moved to a ranch in New Mexico. Now she sees lots of real horses and uses them in some of her paintings.


Write About It

  • Make a list of what you see.
  • How did the artist use the elements and principles of design?
  • What do you think the painting means? How does it make you feel?
  • Select two paintings to compare & contrast.