“A good work of art… doesn’t accommodate itself to the needs of the public. It’s a statement… of the independence of the artist. It… reminds other people, that they too can become independent…”
– Royden Rabinowitch in an interview with the Canada Council for the Arts
An innovator in non-figurative sculpture, Royden Rabinowitch produced minimalist sculpture informed by his interest in science and drawing particular attention to the object’s relationship to the floor. He is considered by some to be one of the pioneers of modern sculpture.
Born in Toronto in 1943, Rabinowitch studied at the University of Western Ontario and the Ontario College of Art in the 1960s before moving to New York in 1970. His early development was influenced by the classic Modernism of Alberto Giacometti, David Smith and Constantin Brancusi. He later evolved to the broad approach of Constructivism before his interest eventually shifted towards the relationship of the human being to sculptural form. Rabinowitch calls the majority of his later works, often completed in cold and hot-rolled steel, “bodies” for the way they apply to the human body’s orientation in space. His Barrel Construction: Double Curvature at Right Angles (1966) represents his interpretation of the body and its movement.
Rabinowitch is an internationally renowned artist, exhibiting works in New York's Guggenheim and Amsterdam's Stedelijk museums, among others. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003, and a Laureate of the Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts in 2012. Rabinowitch currently resides in Ghent, Belgium, where he continues to produce industrial-inspired sculptures.