Arizona-based Rotraut brings her large-scale and colorful sculptures to the Garden this fall | Desert Botanical Garden

OPEN DAILY 8 A.M.|7 A.M. FOR MEMBERS WED. & SUN.

The Garden’s latest art exhibit Playing with Stars: Rotraut at Desert Botanical Garden opens Oct. 7 and is on display through May 14.

Arizona-based and global visual artist Rotraut is bringing her lyrical and large-scale sculptures to the Garden.

Rotraut Klein-Moquay is a German-French artist recognized for her distinct style in painting and sculpture. She was born in Germany in 1938 and currently lives in the Valley. From a young age, Rotraut remembers observing a human connection to nature and universe. In her latest exhibit at the Garden, visitors will experience that journey with her colorful and bold monumental sculptures as they relate to the surrounding natural environment, the cosmos and the human experience of joy. 

Rotraut QA 2
Rotraut QA

The Garden’s Senior Director of Exhibits Laura Spalding Best sat down with Rotraut to talk about the artists’ work and what she hopes guests will take away from the exhibit. The following answers have been interpreted and shortened for brevity by Garden staff.

Q: When did Rotraut begin creating large-scale art?

A: Rotraut’s art career spans several decades, she has been actively making artwork and experimenting since she was a teenager, but it wasn’t until she moved to Arizona that she began to translate her fluid, abstract forms into monumental sculpture. The Sonoran Desert environment played a big part in this evolution of her work.

Q: What inspires the artist’s work?

A: Rotraut is endlessly inspired by nature, the human connection to the universe and cosmos and the experience of joy. Over the years, she has worked out her means of expressing these themes through her painting and sculpture.

Q: How many installations will be on display at the Garden?

A: There will be 13 outdoor sculpture installations on display throughout the Garden as well as a collection of the artist’s paintings and small sculpture and an overview of her artistic process and studio tools in the Ottosen Gallery.

Q: What is Rotraut most excited about presenting at the Garden?

A: Rotraut and the Garden are a perfect complement to each other on many levels. The artist is excited to share this incredible body of work right alongside the Garden’s living collection of desert plants; to see her sculptures rising from Garden beds and mingling with natural forms, and sharing this incredible body of work with local, national and international visitors.

Q: What feeling does the artist hope guests take away from this experience?

A: The wonderful thing about Rotraut’s artwork is that it is accessible and appealing to all ages. Her bold, brightly colored sculptures are expressive and fluid, they are simultaneously simplistic and complicated. Because they are a mix of abstract and semi-representational forms, Rotraut’s sculptures leave room for visitors to make their own connections to the surrounding environment and invite them to experience their own sense of playfulness and joy.

The Garden’s latest art exhibit Playing with Stars: Rotraut at Desert Botanical Garden opens Oct. 7 and is on display through May 14.

Arizona-based and global visual artist Rotraut is bringing her lyrical and large-scale sculptures to the Garden.

Rotraut Klein-Moquay is a German-French artist recognized for her distinct style in painting and sculpture. She was born in Germany in 1938 and currently lives in the Valley. From a young age, Rotraut remembers observing a human connection to nature and universe. In her latest exhibit at the Garden, visitors will experience that journey with her colorful and bold monumental sculptures as they relate to the surrounding natural environment, the cosmos and the human experience of joy. 

Rotraut QA 2
Rotraut QA

The Garden’s Senior Director of Exhibits Laura Spalding Best sat down with Rotraut to talk about the artists’ work and what she hopes guests will take away from the exhibit. The following answers have been interpreted and shortened for brevity by Garden staff.

Q: When did Rotraut begin creating large-scale art?

A: Rotraut’s art career spans several decades, she has been actively making artwork and experimenting since she was a teenager, but it wasn’t until she moved to Arizona that she began to translate her fluid, abstract forms into monumental sculpture. The Sonoran Desert environment played a big part in this evolution of her work.

Q: What inspires the artist’s work?

A: Rotraut is endlessly inspired by nature, the human connection to the universe and cosmos and the experience of joy. Over the years, she has worked out her means of expressing these themes through her painting and sculpture.

Q: How many installations will be on display at the Garden?

A: There will be 13 outdoor sculpture installations on display throughout the Garden as well as a collection of the artist’s paintings and small sculpture and an overview of her artistic process and studio tools in the Ottosen Gallery.

Q: What is Rotraut most excited about presenting at the Garden?

A: Rotraut and the Garden are a perfect complement to each other on many levels. The artist is excited to share this incredible body of work right alongside the Garden’s living collection of desert plants; to see her sculptures rising from Garden beds and mingling with natural forms, and sharing this incredible body of work with local, national and international visitors.

Q: What feeling does the artist hope guests take away from this experience?

A: The wonderful thing about Rotraut’s artwork is that it is accessible and appealing to all ages. Her bold, brightly colored sculptures are expressive and fluid, they are simultaneously simplistic and complicated. Because they are a mix of abstract and semi-representational forms, Rotraut’s sculptures leave room for visitors to make their own connections to the surrounding environment and invite them to experience their own sense of playfulness and joy.


Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Trail closed through Oct.
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