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Osvaldo Romberg (born 1938) is an Argentine artist, curator, and professor who has lived and worked in Philadelphia, New York, and Isla Grande, Brazil.
Romberg was born in Buenos Aires. His parents were Russian Jews who emigrated to Argentina. He studied architecture at the University of Buenos Aires between 1956 and 1962. He subsequently taught art at the Universities of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Puerto Rico and Tucuman until 1973, when he emigrated to Israel, teaching at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design for 20 years. In 1993, he began teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His paintings, books, installations, films, and architectural watercolors have been exhibited internationally. He is currently Senior Curator at Slought Foundation.
Selected Series of Work
In 1973, Romberg began a didactic investigation of color classification by annotating marks of color, arranged them in grids on paper or canvas. He later extended this practice to the deconstruction of color in the art historical canon.
Beginning in 1980, Romberg drew from the writing of analytic philosopher Thomas Kuhn to initiate this series by compressing multiple paradigms of Western painting – often abstraction and representation - onto a single canvas.
Translocations, Building Footprints, and On Scale
Starting in 1986, Romberg began reconstructing at full scale the floor plans of historical, and often religious, architectural structures. Made from bricks that are in some cases fashioned from books or newspapers, these “footprints” are built either inside the exhibition space or partially outside, yet intersecting with the space.
Theater of Transparency
This is a series of filmic work started in 1997, drawing from the history of sex, modernity, and art history. The protagonists are a life-size troupe of transparent marionettes, whose bodies are projection surfaces for the changing historical and metaphorical images that compose their constantly fluctuating identities.
- Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany, Osvaldo Romberg: On Scale. Translated by Robbi Brockhaus, David Galloway, Gunter Reichwein, and Jack Ox. Exhibition catalogue, 1992: 108.
- Pleynet, Marcelin. Osvaldo Romberg et l’enseignement des couleurs. Editions Modernes d’Art: Paris, 1979: 64.
- Osvaldo Romberg +/-70, Even. Edited by Damien Bright and Cameron Hu. Barrytown, New York: Barrytown/Station Hill Press, 2009: 205.
- Koplos, Janet. "Instructions in Seeing." Art in America. Vol. 85, No. 11 (Nov. 1998): 115.
- Theater of Transparency at ZKM