Early in her career, Susan Rothenberg made several paintings featuring a single horse, which, although plainly representational, served as opportunities for the artist to experiment with abstraction. Of her horse motif, Rothenberg has said, "I think it was a surrogate for dealing with a human being, but at the same time it was neutral enough and I had no emotional relationship to horses. . . . I needed something alive, I guess. I couldn't use an object. I’m not a still life painter. The horse was just a quiet image. I was able to stick to the philosophy of the day—keeping the painting flat and anti-illusionist—but I also got to use this big, soft, heavy, strong, powerful form."
Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.