What Is Psychedelic, co-presented by Mishkin Gallery and Pioneer Works, marks the first institutional survey of New York-born artist Aura Rosenberg. This two-venue exhibition traces the artist’s trajectory from early paintings of the 1970s to her more recent endeavors in photography, film, sculpture, and installation. Throughout her five decades long career in New York and Berlin, Rosenberg has moved through diverse styles, preferring to work thematically and serially while often returning to ideas from past projects. The exhibition also includes several previously unseen works, and Rosenberg’s collaborations with artists like Ei Arakawa, Mary Heilmann, Mike Kelley, Louise Lawler, and Haim Steinbach, all of which chronicle the breadth of her multifaceted career.
Rosenberg’s practice challenges how images produce and reproduce notions of spectatorship, gender, family, and history—that is, the conditions of everyday life. In this way, she examines how vernacular images naturalize and normalize meanings through which people understand themselves in the world.
Several series on view in the exhibition, such as Who am I? Where am I? What am I? (1996–2008) and Head Shots (1991–96), involve feminist gestures of convening communities, be it the children of her friends or the men in her social circles. Others, like Statues Also Fall in Love (2019–ongoing) and The Dialectical Porn Rock (1989–93), comment more broadly on collective memory and the shifting, socially produced meanings of public space and the bodies that inhabit them. Her series Berlin Childhood (1996–ongoing) and Angel of History (2013–ongoing) reference Walter Benjamin’s as well as her family’s history of exile from Nazi Germany, as well as more recent histories of exile worldwide.
Accompanying the exhibition is an extensive monographic reader co-published by Mishkin Gallery and Pioneer Works Press and designed by Daniel Kent. The publication pairs full-color plates of the artist’s work alongside newly commissioned and archival texts penned by a dynamic roster of artists, historians, and curators that includes Lena Dunham, Alaina Claire Feldman, Matt Keegan, Claire Koron Elat, Laura López Paniagua, Tim Martin, John Miller, Bob Nickas, Barbara Piwowarska, Lumi Tan, and Alexandra Tell. Notably, this publication will be the first to engage with Rosenberg’s entire oeuvre to date.
About the Artist
Aura Rosenberg (b. 1949, New York, NY) received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, completed the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1971, and received an MA from Hunter College (CUNY) in 1974. She currently lives and works in New York and Berlin. Rosenberg has held solo exhibitions including: Angel of History, Bauhaus Museum, Weimar; The Bull, The Girl and The Siegessäule, Efremidis, Berlin (2021); Statues Also Fall in Love, Martos Gallery, New York, NY (2019); Angel of History, Studio Teatr Galeria, Warsaw, Poland (2017); Head Shots (1991–1996), JOAN, Los Angeles, CA (2016); and Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?, Meredith Rosen Gallery, New York (2022) and Meliksetian Briggs Gallery, Los Angeles (2015). Recent group exhibitions include Up To and Including Limits: After Carolee Schneeman, Muzeum Susch, Switzerland (2019) and Ekstase, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany (2019). Rosenberg’s works are included in the permanent collections of The Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, Germany; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Cincinnati Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OH; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany, LUMA Foundation, Arles, France; and Lhoist Collection, Brussels, Belgium.
Aura Rosenberg: What Is Psychedelic is curated by Alaina Claire Feldman. The exhibition at Mishkin Gallery is supported by the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College (CUNY) and Friends of the Mishkin Gallery. Public programming at Mishkin Gallery is supported by The Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center. The exhibition at Pioneer Works is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.