Raquel Rabinovich (b. 1929, Buenos Aires, Argentina – lives and works in New York)
Raquel Rabinovich is a New York based, Argentinian-American artist known for monochromatic paintings and drawings, large-scale glass sculpture environments, and site-specific stone sculpture installations along the shores of the Hudson River.
Throughout her artistic career, Rabinovich has worked with a wide range of media including drawing, collage, painting, sculpture and installation. Informed by her underlying fascination with the ineffable nature of existence, Rabinovich’s work embodies concealed aspects of existence that lie behind the appearance of things, thoughts, language, and the world. Exploring what she calls the “dark source,” the artist attempts to reveal how that which is concealed emerges into view, making the invisible visible. This seemingly insoluble conundrum has been central to Rabinovich’s art practice, shaping the essence of her oeuvre for the last sixty years.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1929 into a Russian and Romanian Jewish immigrant family, Rabinovich has lived and worked in the United States since 1967 and currently resides in Rhinebeck, New York. Raised in Córdoba, Argentina, Rabinovich was a political prisoner under Juan Domingo Perón’s regime, later moving to Europe where she would live throughout the mid-late 1950s.
Rabinovich’s travels to India, Nepal, Indonesia, Egypt, Peru and even the Hudson Valley have had a profound impact on her work. She is repeatedly drawn to spaces of silence and darkness, deeply connecting with the authentic and rooted ancient traditions. This idea of silence and darkness, both literally and metaphorically, has led her to explore the ground’s relationship with the spiritual, using mud, stone and glass as metaphors for the passage of time and the ephemeral nature of existence.
Her work is also informed by her love of poetry. She connects her practice to the non-literal and magical worlds in Latin American literature, and the liminal space between the lines found in texts by Latin American writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel García Márquez and Luisa Valenzuela, seen in her ongoing series of works on paper titled “When Silence Becomes Poetry.”
At the beginning of the 2000’s she had set aside paint in favor of mud drawings and stone sculpture installations. When she began painting again in 2014, drawing and painting remained central to her art.
Rabinovich has also been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the 2011-2012 Lee Krasner Award for Lifetime Achievement from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and is included in the Oral History Program of the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art.