Painter Jo Ann Rothschild has always registered the political through the personal. The daughter of a prominent Chicago civil rights lawyer, she arrived in Boston as the Vietnam era was ending. Her abstract vocabulary of marks and grids already betrayed a singular responsiveness to human turmoil and social justice.
By 1989, Rothschild was creating luminous off-stretcher canvases of heroic scale. A few years later, her looming expanses of intersecting lines and translucent blocks of color garnered her the first Maud Morgan Prize, awarded by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to honor a Massachusetts woman artist. (Despite this notoriety, several of her giant canvases entrusted to non- profits through the now-defunct Art Connection have sadly gonemissing; Rothschild is hoping some of them will still turn up.)