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

  • Not on view

The paintings that compose Rothenberg's 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 were originally created for the six pillars of PaineWebber Group's thirty–eighth-floor corporate dining room in New York. Rothenberg chose these animated figures because she felt they would add a sense of spirited action to this meeting space and because she liked the juxtaposition of their weightless, floating forms with the expansive sky visible through the room's windows. The activity implicit in these off–balance, energetic bodies was a departure in Rothenberg's work at the time. "After years of trying to make things static, I was involved in making them move," she has said.

Rothenberg has a deep interest in dance; in the 1970s she worked with the performance artist and dancer Joan Jonas. While the six kinetic bodies of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 were not intended to form a specific narrative, they are sequentially related. Rothenberg placed them in order according to what she has called the motions of a "possible dancing movement": "One leans out, one leans in, one flies up, one presses down, one stands, one relaxes."

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 66.
Oil on wood, six panels
Each panel 10' 6 3/4" x 46 1/8" (321.9 x 117.2 cm)
Gift of UBS
Object number
© 2021 Susan Rothenberg/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].