Oral history interview with Raquel Rabinovich, 2012 September 25 and October 9
Rabinovich, Raquel, 1929-
McElhinney, James, 1952-
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
4 sound files (3 hr., 6 min.) : digital, wav
Transcript: 64 pages.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Rabinovich speaks of growing up in Argentina; becoming aware of art; reproductions and books; European art; her Jewish heritage; her parents moving to Argentina before World War I; Jewish persecution; her parents' background; living in Cordoba; speaking Spanish and Yiddish growing up; quiet reflections; church; art exposure; traveling and moving to Paris; the influence of Ernesto Farina; Peron's dictatorship and rebellion; attending medical school and the call of art; political activities and spending time in jail; meeting Jose and moving to Scotland; Paris and exposure to artwork; teachings of Andre Lhote; her early works; abstraction; painting; La Joconde; darkness and light; the Dark is Light Enough; exposure to literature and poetry; living in Copenhagen; meeting Jorge Luis Borges; La Oscuridad Tiene Su Luz; the Book of Sand; her siblings; her children and her relationship to them; staying up to date with current events; libraries and lack of books growing up; meditation; texture and the monochromatic works; interest in Jasper Johns' work; meeting Jasper Johns; living in New York; trip to Machu Picchu and spending the night outdoors; Cloister; Crossing; Passageway; glassworks and transparency; exhibiting artwork; her divorce; Rodolfo Mondolfo; environment and exposure; quiet contemplation; spending time with artwork; commissioned work near High Falls; River Library; libraries as places of knowledge; minimalism; Invisible Cities and Calvino; the 1980s; her daughter's wedding and her relationship with Jose; stones; traveling to Nepal; Thailand; India; and Egypt; temples; Buddhism; Chhodrtens; garbhagrihas; NEA fellowship and residency in Paris; Thrones for the Gods; INTAR Gallery; Gateless Gates; artifacts; Pabhavikas sculpture; Charles Stein; Linda Weintraub; George Quasha; Station Hill Press; Enfolded Darkness; and Light Unworn. Rabinovich also recalls Baron Hughes, Beethoven, Lenin, Diego Velazquez, Andre Lhote, Mondrian, Picasso, Braque, David Levi Straus, Robert Kelly, Cezanne, Phillip Pavia, Agnes Martin, Dorothea Rockburne, Barry Schwabsky, Bill Zimmer, Agnes Denes, Louisa Valenzuela, Julia Herzberg, and Margo Maggi.
An interview of Raquel Rabinovich conducted 2012 September 25 and October 9, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Rabinovich's home, in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Raquel Rabinovich, 2012 September 25 and October 9. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Transcript available online.
Raquel Rabinovich (1929- ) is a painter and sculptor in Rhinebeck, N.Y. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator from New York, N.Y.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001