Dorothea Rockburne, one of Bowdoin’s 2016 honorands, spoke in Kresge Auditorium on May 26.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1932, Rockburne received classical training in art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, and at the Montreal Museum School. At Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, she studied painting, music, dance, mathematics, theater, linguistics, philosophy, literature, writing, poetry, and photography. In 1970, Rockburne produced her “Set Theory” installations, inspired by the relationships between mathematics and the way a body moves through space. In the early 1990s, Rockburne began to study astronomy and frescoes, combining these interests to create a major fresco secco for SONY headquarters in New York City titled Northern Sky, Southern Sky.
Her many awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Witowsky Prize for Painting, and participation at the 1980 Venice Biennale. She is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Design, and the Century Association.