About the Work // Rosenberg’s Innovative Techniques

illusory surfaces on aluminium

The evolution of creating three-dimensional illusions on a two-dimensional surface began accidentally in the studio when a piece of galvanized steel was accidentally laid on top of a tub of adhesive. The silicone fumes etched a vague three-dimensional effect in the metal. This lead to enhancing the images on the flat metal surface with abrasive tools. This method has become a signature illusory technique in Herb Rosenberg’s work. The illusion is the treatment of the surface whereby it appears not to have surface boundaries. Instead, that which is flat appears to have an illusive depth which changes as the light or the viewer moves. "As a sculptor, I create these illusions, experiential illusions which trigger interactive participation with the audience. The aluminum is transformed into soft, organic, energized images through a complex system of machining the metal with a variety of interlocking lines which refract light through a constantly changing array of angles. The surfaces appear deeply three-dimensional and holographic.” GALLERIES


Bronze studies for future monumental sculptures are created directly in wax. In order to manipulate wax figurative forms in motion dried banana peels are soaked in molten wax, becoming the armature for figures defying gravity. GALLERIES

Fabric Mural Drawings

Painted on large silk/cotton fabric, the images are created in a pointillist style with each dab of fabric dye applied by banging the material with a large flat-ended brush. These paintings are displayed as hanging monumental forms gently swaying as the viewer passes by. GALLERIES

Performance: Sax-A-Forms

Sax-A-Forms was a collaborative performance piece between Herb Rosenberg, the sculptor/poet, and Greg Wall, saxophonist/composer. They performed to sold-out audiences at the Pocket Theater in New York City. GALLERIES

Neon glow

The surfaces of metal are washed with an emanating glow of color from neon bulbs which are hidden within these aluminum works. This method creates a rich radiance of color gradations as the viewer engages the work from various angles. GALLERIES


Feathers sway in space mimicking the human form in dance. Herb Rosenberg created large forms in muslin and glue upon which the surfaces were multi-layered with poultry feathers. The feathers were individually chosen for their aesthetic melding of flowing forms. GALLERIES


Multiple layers of melted, colored glass adhere to the flat metal surfaces of wall pieces providing a wonderment of depth and mystery. The fusing of the glass blends a translucent optical quality through which the underlying imagery is a myriad of metaphors. On some pieces, small found objects are incorporated which invite viewers into miniature, magical worlds. GALLERIES

Player piano-roll drawings

Holes scroll along a seemingly endless roll of paper, created, in times gone by for music. On old paper rolls of player piano music a visual performance in color has been painted. Like unraveling scrolls, these works are an acrobatic flow often depicting a Diaspora. The stories are inspired and morphed into a series of watercolor pencil drawings where the holes in the parchment-like paper are effectively integrated into horizontal drawings playing a mystical, visual rhythm. The two dozen player piano rolls were won at a Canadian auction for one Canadian dollar. GALLERIES

The Molligoggles Books

The ‘Molligoggle’ character was developed by Herb Rosenberg to celebrate his son Andrew Maxwell’s birthdays. It’s a loose line drawing with text, which documented Andrew’s growing up adventures . Each year for twenty-five years, a new edition of the Molligoggle journey was self-published in Xerox editions. They were originally developed as a gift to be given out as birthday party favors. GALLERIES