Born in Brooklyn and a graduate of Pratt Institute, Castoro’s works have been seen in more than fifty solo exhibitions since 1971. Her work has been exhibited in hundreds of group exhibitions and is included in numerous public and corporate collections including MoMA; The Newark Museum; University Art Museum, Berkeley; Boca Raton Museum, FL; Goldman Sachs; Bank of America; Greenwich Library; J.P. Morgan Private Bank: Chase; Merrill Lynch; Lintas/World Wide; Centre National Des Arts Plastiques, Paris, France; General Services Administration, Washington, DC and “Craven’s World”, Anderson Gallery, U. of Buffalo, NY.
Rosemarie Castoro (1939 - 2015) established herself in the late 60s as one of the few well-recognized female painters among the New York Minimalists. Her friends and peers included Eva Hesse, Ree Morton and Hannah Wilke. Like them, Castoro was often over-shadowed by men, including her then-husband Carl Andre, and their friends Sol Lewitt, Frank Stella, Mark di Suvero and Robert Smithson. That shadow has lifted, and today Rosemarie Castoro is gaining renewed attention and praise for her pioneering works.
Informed in part by her early interest in modern dance, Castoro worked in painting, sculpture, performance, and installation throughout her career. Early on, Castoro participated in several performances with Minimal Dance pioneer Yvonne Rainer and became involved with choreography. By 1964 she directed her focus on painting and drawing, creating a pioneering body of work of highly sophisticated hard-edge abstraction. Her experimental drawings developed into large scale canvases.
Beginning in the late 1960s, Castoro’s works became more sculptural. The earliest example is her series of Brushstrokes, one of which is included in MoMA's permanent collection. These huge swaths of texture and form virtually leapt off the wall. Based on stenographic shorthand, these pieces were constructed of cut masonite intricately shaped to mimic the strokes of brush bristles, they came alive with dimensionally textured ridges of gesso and drawn graphite lines. Eventually the works left the wall entirely, becoming free-standing panels and screens such as Rotating Corners, Forumand Triptych.
Working fully in three dimensions led Castoro to experiment with the use of steel and concrete, materials which she came to master. While she never renounced painting entirely, and indeed produced volumes of works on paper in the latter decades of her life, Castoro's sculpture seems the focus of her work beginning in the 80s. She fully explored each series of her sculptural works, including her now famous FLASHERS, which were created for a major outdoor installation at Art Park in Louiston, New York. Works in torqued stainless steel followed, including the KINGS AND QUEENS series, leading to a group of welded, faceted works drawn from operatic characters. In this series, her depictions of Erda, Woton, and Brunhilde, among others, avowed her continued interest in dance and performance, while her use of material expanded upon techniques first evidenced in her more minimalist pieces. Castoro simultaneously allowed her discoveries in three-dimensions to carry over into her two-dimensional work, both of which were often related.