Dorothea Rockburne

Ten Years of Astronomy Drawings 1990 - 2000

March 1 – April 1, 2000

Lawrence Rubin · Greenberg Van Doren · Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of over thirty drawings on paper and panel by Dorothea Rockburne from 1990 – 2000. The exhibition will be on view from March 1 – April 1, 2000.


Dorothea Rockburne’s public works of the past ten years have been her celebrated large-scale commissions, including the 1993 fresco murals in SONY Music’s New York Headquarters, Northern Sky, Southern Sky.  The exhibition brings together the artist’s drawings from this decade which are glimpses of both her past and future projects. 


Fascinated by astronomy, all of Rockburne’s drawings in the exhibition find their source in cosmological phenomena.  Contemporary artists have been depicting the heavens for years, such as Vija Celmins and her comets and Saturn or the strings of constellations seen in the recent paintings of Jasper Johns. The basis for Rockburne’s work is studied observation and intuition.  Interpretations, rather than illustrations, these abstract works combine vivid color with delicately textured surfaces. The panel drawings Pegasus and Universes forecasted later confirmed findings - the presence of a sun in the constellation Pegasus and the coexistence of several universes.  The inspiration for the kaleidoscope-like Tearful Sisters is the Greek myth about the origins of the Pleiades.  Other works make visual largely intangible experiences, such as the seasonal movement of light through Rome’s Pantheon pictured in the drawing Sphere and the interaction of particles and energy in Vortex and Particle and Wave.