HallSpace in Dorchester, MA is pleased to present Hope for the Future, an exhibition featuring paintings, drawings, and collage by artist Jo Ann Rothschild.
Jo Ann Rothschild like everyone has been isolating, giving her ample time in the studio, to think, and respond to what is happening in the world. 2020 was enlightening, exposing how fragile our society, our way of life really is. It is impossible not to look back and wonder how we got here. In a sense, that is what this exhibition is about. The work hanging in this exhibition includes what Rothschild describes as her first mature painting, Word Chart, 1971. Rothschild writes, “The marks [in Word Chart] can be seen as sprouts, corners, body parts, sores, intersections or words.”
While Rothschild is intensely aware of world politics, and has strong opinions, she confesses the paintings are about painting, writing, “It was a year of looking back, and painting forward. Collages and drawings often respond to political climate. Painting about painting – putting one mark in front of the other, and hoping to see what works. I’m not after anything known in these paintings, rather wanting them to teach me something new – something I haven’t seen. Nothing is very dramatic. They are exploratory.” It is Rothschild’s visual search, her journey, that bring these paintings to life. She writes, “From time to time, ideas, myths, love, panic, anger, and ambition have generated paintings for me, but learning that all you need do, is begin, is the understanding that makes work possible for me.”
There is transformation, a synthesis of experience and the unknown that keep Rothschild’s paintings fresh, honest. Painting from within, not knowing where the painting will go seems liberating, it can be, but it takes courage.
Jo Ann Rothschild has been painting for more than fifty years and has exhibited in Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Havana. She was the first recipient of the MFA’s Maud Morgan Purchase Prize as well as a fellowship recipient in painting from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Exhibitions have included: a retrospective at the National Theatre Building in Havana, one person exhibitions at the Painting Center in New York City, HallSpace, and Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts. Rothschild has taught at Tufts University and UMass Boston and founded the art program at Pine Street Inn, where she taught for 11 years. Her first painting teacher was Leo Garel. She studied painting with Pat Adams at Bennington College. Rothschild’s MFA in painting is from the joint program of Tufts University and School of the Museum Fine Arts, Boston.
“Hope for the Future” will be up from April 3rd to May 8th. The April 3rd opening will include an in-person event from 2-5pm as well as a parallel live Zoom from 3-4pm.