David Rabinowitch

Year of birth, place
1943, Toronto, Canada
Role at the ZKM
Artist of the Collection
David Rabinowitch was born in Toronto in 1943. From 1963 to 1966 he studied for a BA in English Literature at the University of Western Ontario. In 1972, after his first trip to Europe, he settled in New York. He then taught at several institutions, including Yale University and the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf. He has received many awards and prizes for his work as an artist: in 1975 he was a Guggenheim Fellow; in 1977 he received the Victor M. Lynch Staunton Award of Distinction, from the Canada Council and in 1986 a Fellowship for the National Endowment for the Arts; and in 1994 he was appointed Sculptor in Residence at the Atelier Calder in Saché. Rabinowitch lives in New York.

Rabinowitch started out, in the late 1950s, as a painter, and was influenced by Abstract Expressionism. He was inspired to switch to sculpture by an encounter with the work of the American sculptor David Smith. Rabinowitch's work is imbued with concepts drawn from literature and philosophy, and in particular informed by the aim of giving sculptural form to structural conditions considered to be universal. He has, therefore, always been very interested in astronomical and chemical systems and defining the exact relations between their elements. He has also drawn on the architecture of the Romanesque churches he discovered when travelling in Europe. A great deal of his sculptural work is preceded (often by a long interval) by preparatory drawings. These drawings establish concepts of a certain organization of space. Most of Rabinowitch's works on paper are characterized by formally economical arrangements of lines and geometrical shapes. Rabinowitch's sculptural output falls into three groups: flat shapes made from rolled steel and resting horizontally on the ground; geometrically organized steel frames with inscribed individual motifs; and austere spatial ensembles incorporating wall reliefs and floor sculptures. 

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1968 Pollock Gallery, Toronto
1969 Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto
1974 Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco
1975 Museum Wiesbaden
1977 Galleria la Polena, Genoa
1978 Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent; Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld
1987 Kaiser Wilhelm Museum - Haus Esters, Krefeld
1988 Kunsthalle, Bielefeld
1992 Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden
1993 Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Blumarts, New York; Galerie Dorothea van der Koelen, Mainz
1995 Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Chemnitz; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
1996 Akira Ikada Gallery, Tokyo; Pogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
1997 Annemarie Verna, Zürich; Galerie Saint-Severin, Paris
Group exhibitions (selection)
1968 »Heart of London«, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; subsequently at various venues in Canada
1977 documenta VI, Kassel; »Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1987«, Münster
1982 documenta VII, Kassel
1987 documenta VIII, Kassel
1988 »Zeitlos«, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
1989 »Einleuchten«, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
1992 »Schwerpunkt Skulptur«, Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld
1993 »Monochrome Geometrie«, Sammlung Goetz, Munich
1995 »Donald Judd and Artist Friends«, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna
1996 »Etat des lieux - Commandes publiques de 1990 a 1995«, Délégation aux arts plastiques, Musée du Luxembourg, Paris; »Den Gedanken auf der Spur bleiben, Zeichnungen 1950-1990 aus dem Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld«, Kunsthalle, Nuremberg
1997 »Drawing the Line and Crossing It«, Blumarts, New York

[Frauke Syamken, 1997]