David Rabinowitch

Fluid Sheet Constructions and Related Drawings, 1963–64

The Pinto Canyon Group, 1979–1983: Plans, Drawings, and Models

In October 2008  Chinati inaugurated two exhibitions by David Rabinowitch: Fluid Sheet Constructions and Related Drawings, 1963–64 and The Pinto Canyon Group, 1979–1983: Plans, Drawings, and Models. The Fluid Sheet Constructions were created in 1963–64 and made from equally sized sheets of 28-gauge galvanized iron, each measuring 48 by 96 inches. Rabinowitch piled, bent, and laid the sheets out in different configurations, then bolted them together, creating a variety of rolled, curved, conic, and flat shapes. Placed on the ground, the Fluid Sheet Constructions formed topological studies in which the forces building the sculptures up are counterpoised with the gravity pressing them down. Upon completing the series, the artist disassembled the sculptures and used the iron sheets in other projects. For his exhibition at Chinati, Rabinowitch recreated about a dozen from a much larger group, and displayed related drawings as well.

David Rabinowitch, installation view, 2007

The second exhibition documented the project conceived by Rabinowitch in conversation with Judd during the late 1970s and early 1980s: a structure to be built in Pinto Canyon, some miles south of the museum. In dialogue with Judd, Rabinowitch conceived of a small, square-shaped building to be made of adobe or brick, with the interior walls themselves serving as the “picture plane.” In order not to interrupt the four walls with a door, Rabinowitch, inspired by the kivas built by the native peoples of the Southwest, designed an underground entrance leading up through the floor of the building. Rabinowitch developed numerous drawings and designs for the building in Pinto Canyon, but the project never advanced beyond the concept stage. The exhibition included many of the artist’s notes and sketches, as well as newly created models of the project.

Together, the two Rabinowitch exhibitions illuminated little-known aspects of the artist’s career and an even lesser-known moment in Chinati’s history.

David Rabinowitch was born in 1943 in Toronto, Canada, and currently lives and works in New York and Wiesbaden, Germany. He has exhibited internationally for over forty years and shows regularly at Galerie Annemarie Verna, Zürich and Peter Blum Gallery, New York. Solo museum exhibitions include The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (both 2004); Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster (2000); Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Galerie Starmach, Krakow, and the Museum of Modern Art, Niepolomice, Poland (1999); Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1998); and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1993).

David Rabinowitch, Chinati permanent collection