Arts and Culture | Local

Tucson J to exhibit artwork by Rotraut

Rotraut Klein Moquay

An exhibition of small sculpture and works on paper by international artist and sculptor Rotraut (Rotraut Klein Moquay) is on display at the Tucson Jewish Community Center Fine Art Gallery through April 13.

Born in East Germany in 1938, Rotraut spent much of her life and career in France. In her late teens, she met and married artist Yves Klein, and was his wife, muse and collaborator until his untimely death in 1962.

In the 1980s, Rotraut and her current husband, art curator Daniel Moquay, moved to the Phoenix area with their children. Her work is regularly on exhibit at Art Basel in both Basel and Miami and she mounts several shows a year in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is known as both painter and sculptor. Lynn Davis, director of arts and culture at the Tucson J, points out that across mediums, her work is colorful, lyrical, animated and brimming with optimism.

Rotraut’s exhibit heralds the J’s 7th Annual Sculpture Garden Exhibition, which opens April 10. The opening reception will honor Rotraut; the 12 artists in this year’s juried show; and the family of Norma Lewis, which recently made a generous donation of the late sculptor’s work to the Garden’s permanent collection.

Lewis, who died in 2010, worked primarily in bronze, but also incorporated stone and aluminum into her work, which included both diminutive and large outdoor sculptures. Her sculptures and paintings are in museums and private collections worldwide. She and her husband, David, who died in 2015, spent several years in California before retiring to Oro Valley.

Events on April 10 include a brunch and artists’ talk from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The brunch benefits the garden and tickets are $50. A free public reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. To RSVP for the brunch, call 299-3000.