Andrew Russeth at Artnews:
In an interview a few years ago, artist Susan Rothenberg said she had just read that a group of ravens is called an unkindness. She thought it an unfair characterization because ravens, to her mind, were “great. They do somersaults in the air. They play. They chase hawks away. They do so many things.” She and her husband, artist Bruce Nauman, regularly saw those famously fickle creatures at their ranch in Galisteo, New Mexico, and they’d earned enough of the birds’ trust to be able to walk up to them, though not to touch them. “It’s like having an unpettable pet around,” she said.
Rothenberg, who died earlier this week at 75, spent her life making raven-like paintings: rugged and raw, they beguile but never let you cozy up. She channeled animals (a category that includes humans) with a gimlet eye and without judgment, transmuting them into psychic and symbolic forces.