(Detroit, Michigan, 1948 - )
Lives Santa Fe, New Mexico
Meridel Rubenstein received a BA in social science with an emphasis on filmmaking from Sarah Lawrence College in 1970. After making photographs while working on a film project in 1972, she attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a special graduate student, working with Minor White. She subsequently earned her MA and MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Rubenstein’s photo-based work has evolved from single photographs to complex mixed media images and installations. Often creating work in series, Rubenstein is noted for exploring political and mythical themes, as well as spiritual ideas that address our relationship to nature and place. Among the important series she has undertaken are photographs of Lowriders, which document New Mexico’s Hispanic subculture of custom car enthusiasts; Millennial Trees, which explores trees in Vietnam and the United States as metaphors for survival; and, most recently, Heaven on Its Side, which explores the concept of Eden in Iraq, Vermont and Indonesia.
Rubenstein, who maintains studios in New Mexico and Vermont, has taught a semester each year at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore since 2006. She is a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation. Her work has been featured in one-person and group exhibitions internationally, including at galleries in Singapore, Boston, San Francisco and Dublin. Among the many public collections in which Rubenstein’s work is represented are those of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.