For several months at the beginning of 2012, Jo Ann Rothschild made large mixed media drawings. Her focus has been on touch, mark color and rhythm in the past, but the new works on paper introduce shape. A shape has an inside, an outside and an edge. Several shapes may instigate momentum or two shapes demand comparison. The relation of one shape to another can imply intimacy, overlap or distance. A solitary shape may invite stillness. The "Garfield Park" conservatory in Chicago contains large, small, exotic and familiar plants. Rothschild spent a morning there this Spring making small drawings that focus on the interplay, specificity and variety of the plant specimens. Her interest in distinctive forms was triggered by the recent mixed media drawings. Forms from the small "Garfield Park" drawings appear in some of these paintings. Often what Rothschild sees influences what she makes, but in this instance, the works she created determined what and how she saw.
Jo Ann Rothschild has exhibited in her native Boston, as well as New York, Chicago, Berlin, Germany and Havana, Cuba where she worked closely with the Cuban artist Rigoberto Mena. She has been included in exhibitions at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston, The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cape Cod Community College, and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Her first retrospective was at Gallery Imago in the National Theatre Building in Havana. She received a grant in painting from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is the first recipient of the Maud Morgan Purchase Prize of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 2001, she started the Pine Street Inn art program, where she taught for eleven years. She has taught at U-Mass Boston and been a TA in Art History at Tufts University. Rothschild has been a visiting artist at U- Mass Boston, Grand Valley State University, Framingham Jail for Women, Mass Art, Tufts and Brandeis. She has a BA in art from Bennington College and a MFA in painting from the joint program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. October 18, 2012 at The Painting Center, 7 pm "A Conversation” moderated by Mary Birmingham Mary Birmingham is Curator at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and former Director of Exhibitions at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ. She is the author of Dynamic Impulse: The Drawings of Stuart Davis.