Rockburne’s Mind’s Eye

“I Am Pascal,” from 1986-87, is one of the works featured in a retrospective of Dorothea Rockburne opening at the Parrish Art Museum this weekend.

    The Parrish Art Museum will present the first ever retrospective of Dorothea Rockburne beginning on Sunday with more than 50 works spanning more than a half-century of artistic production.
    Alicia Longwell, the museum’s chief curator, organized the exhibit titled “Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind’s Eye,” which will feature early installation pieces up to later painted works.
    Ms. Rockburne was born and raised in Montreal and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Montreal Museum School. In 1950 she studied painting with Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov, and Esteban Vicente at Black Mountain College in Asheville, N.C., with fellow students such as Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and John Chamberlain. She also took classes with Merce Cunningham and John Cage while there. She joined many of them in New York City and became a participant in early dance and performance pieces with Mr. Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Carolee Schneemann.
    Her use of unusual mediums such as sheet metal, chipboard, and crude oil gained notice in exhibits such as her first solo show at Bykert Gallery in New York in 1971. Over the years, she has continued to find new uses for industrial materials, while her themes and their variations have remained somewhat constant.
    “The way art works for me is a combination of thought, research, intuition, and very hard work. I don’t think things out in words; instead I see it in my mind’s eye,” the artist said in a recent interview. She merges rational concepts from math and science with art historical references, philosophy, and other fields to create visual constructs.
    She lives in New York City, but had a house on the South Fork for many years.
    At an opening event on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m., Ms. Rockburne will speak about her career with David Anfam, an art historian and contributor to the exhibit catalog, and Ms. Longwell. A reception will follow. Reservations are required for this event.
    An illustrated exhibit catalog will include essays by Ms. Longwell, Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Mr. Anfam, and Robert Lawlor, author of “Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice.”
    The exhibit will be on view through Aug. 14.