Susan Rothenberg. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 1988

Oil on wood, six panels, Each panel 10' 6 3/4" x 46 1/8" (321.9 x 117.2 cm). Gift of UBS. © 2024 Susan Rothenberg/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Director, Glenn Lowry: One Through Six is a work that was created specifically for this art collection. Don Marron, then CEO of Paine Webber, asked the artist Susan Rothenberg to create a new work for the company’s executive dining room.

Curator, Ann Temkin: And what she chose to do surprised everybody at the company.

Glenn Lowry: Curator Ann Temkin

Ann Temkin: Instead of picking a wall, which would be rather easy, she picked the architectural columns that went throughout this dining room—things that you try to ignore because they are what support the ceiling. These are over ten feet tall each. And they basically would, in a very direct way, compete with all of the beautiful views of the city that would be surrounding them in this window-encircled room.

Dancers is something she’d been thinking about for some time and making, in fact, other works that involved bodies in motion, like this. There is a very definite sequence that Susan Rothenberg saw in the way that one led to the next. Although Susan Rothenberg was not a trained ballet dancer, as we think of it, in working with avant-garde dance in the early 70s, she was extremely well versed in what movement and body language really meant, and so was at an advantage in thinking about formulating these figures on these canvases.