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Eva Rothschild

Living Spring , 2011

Painted Steel 413 x 90 x 40 cm

Eva Rothschild’s work has developed out of the legacy of the modernist sculptural tradition. Highly defined use of colour and illusionistic materiality are central components of her sculptural lexicon along with humour and an interest in the transcendent possibilities of art. Standing at over 4 metres in height, Living Spring is a slender, self-supporting structure. The divergent branch like sculpture references the natural world but her highly controlled use of colour and the exactitude of the cylindrical steel construction align the piece within a more hard-edged minimalism tradition. Painted in a palette of black, red and green, Rothschild’s signature stripes encourage active looking. The colour switches and shifts up and down the vertical axis confusing the eye and making us conscious of our own role in visually activating the object. Completed in 2011, Living Spring relates to the Rothschild’s first major public art work Empire, commissioned by the New York Public Art Fund (also in 2011) and the major site-specific installation Why Don’t You? she made in 2012 for the Nasher Sculpture in Dallas – a meandering serpentine sculpture which occupied the museums entrance walls, floor, desks, stairs, and doorways.

Courtesy the artist and Modern Art, London


Eva Rothschild (b.1971, Dublin) studied Fine Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast (1990-93) and Goldsmith’s College, London (1997-99). Her work has developed out of the legacy of the modernist sculptural tradition and a commitment to sculpture’s capacity to create bodily encounters in space. Rothschild works with a wide range of materials including jesmonite, painted steel, leather, wood, tiles and paper. She is interested in how objects acquire meaning extraneous to their material reality with much of her work examining the spiritual investment in objects.

Rothschild made her first large-scale intervention in a museum space in 2009 when she created Cold Corners for Tate Britain’s Duveens Commission – a vast rambling geometric sculpture that occupied the length of the neo-classical galleries. In 2011, she created Empire for the Public Art Fund, New York, placing a monumental, multidirectional steel archway painted with brightly coloured stripes at one of the entrances to Central Park. She has exhibited worldwide, including Hepworth Wakefield (2011) and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2018). In 2014 Rothschild was elected a Royal Academician and in 2019 she represented Ireland at the 58th Venice Biennale. She lives and works in East London.