Beauty and the Beholder (from the Figures and Fetishes series), 2009-2013, computer printed on archival paper from pen and ink drawings, courtesy of Mitchell-Giddings Fine Arts
Vermont-based Linda Rubinstein makes one-of-a-kind artist books and figurative fabric sculpture. She grew up in New York City where she studied with mentor Tony Smith at Hunter College (B.F.A. 1967); at the Art Students League; and the New School for Social Research. She studied bookbinding at the Women's Studio Workshop (NY) with Heidi Kyle; and with Dan Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage (MA).
Her solo exhibitions were seen at River Valley Arts Center (VT); Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (NH); and West Village Meeting House (VT). Book arts curator Judith Hoffberg's nationally-traveling show, Women of the Book, was inspired by Linda's own work. Additionally, her books toured in traveling exhibitions by the Guild of Book Workers and by the Vermont Arts Council; and included in shows at the Brattleboro Museum; the Putney School; Windham College, and other regional venues.
National venues include the A.I.R. Gallery (NY); the RISD Museum (RI); the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), and the Museum of Our National Heritage (MA). A commissioned book, And The Air Stood Still, is on permanent display at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (NY). Her paintings, book multiples, prints, and fabric figures are in many private collections.
An active member of the Vermont arts community since moving to the state in 1968, Linda has taught painting and drawing at Windham College and Vermont Community College; held positions as Executive Director of the Yellow Barn Music Festival and Education Curator of Brattleboro Museum; and was a founding partner in Arts Bridge LLC, an arts consulting firm. She's a past Co-Chair of the Vermont Arts Council, and a grant reviewer for the VAC and for the National Endowment for the Arts. She and her husband, architect Chip Greenberg, live in East Dummerston, Vermont.
Artist Statement: Artist Books
Why do I make travel-inspired books?
I like the kind of change that comes with being transported—by theater, music, literature or, more literally, by plane. Travel alters and stimulates—challenging my eye and brain to figure out what I see and what it might mean, pushing aside the everyday and making way for new configurations and interpretations. The books help me stay grounded in the experience while giving me endless platforms to explore imagery.
Teamed with my husband and chief traveling companion, Chip Greenberg, I traveled to Zambia in 2012 to join the wedding celebrations of our son, Gabriel, and his bride, Tendayi Achiume. On our Passage to Africa, two years later, we explored Zambia and Zimbabwe after joining 35 members of Tendayi's large and hospitable family gathered on two houseboats on Lake Kariba, which borders the two countries.
I planned this book in portable sections of accordion folded pages. The borders are adapted from contemporary African textile patterns or traditional designs—most were painted on site. I collected sketches for many of the book's drawings in a travel journal along with written observations and notes. Limiting the amount of space I give to words on each page forces me to tell my story succinctly and dig into the essence of what was happening. . . brevity is a hard task master.
Artist Statement: Figures & Fetishes
At art school, In the mid sixties, I began tracking the emotional climate of my life in an outpouring of figurative drawings. Over the ensuing five decades the human form has punctuated my work in artist books, journals, and clay. On a recent trip, the purchase of a pocket-size yearly diary unexpectedly triggered a deluge of drawings – my cluttered days allowing barely enough hours to capture the many images sliding from my pen.
Then, almost magically, some of the figures stepped off the paper into an uncharted three-dimensional world where I wrap, stuff, drape, sew, pinch, pull, and otherwise encourage them into life. While demanding and labor-intensive, creating each fabric figure as a colorful and distinct presence has rewarded me with a new and expanded vision, blending scraps from the marketplace into the fanciful beings who now inhabit my world.