When Jennifer Bartlett's Rhapsody was first shown in 1976, it occupied the entirety of Paula Cooper's SoHo gallery space. The work, which consists of 987 onefoot-square steel panels stretching over an expanse of more than 150 feet, has an overall monumentality, but its small-scale panels invite intimate interaction. As you read the work from left to right, seven thematic sections appear, called Introduction, Mountain, Line, House, Tree, Shape, and Ocean. Rhapsody adds joyful color and a narrative subject matter to the grid formation of Minimalist art of the 1960s.
Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.