Annabeth Rosen (born 1957 Brooklyn, NY) is an American sculptor, and the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair at University of California, Davis.
Explosions of rich thick patterning often characterize Rosen’s work. Her art is most commonly the result of compiling many small organic sculptures of clay to create a much larger, more energetic and dynamic composition. Rosen’s work is rooted, historically, in tile making. At the beginning of her career she made traditional tiles. She began to question the line between craft and art, which caused her to cover her entire apartment in tiles transforming it from a mundane to a spectacular interior space. Her piece entitled Sample helps define where she has gone with her work today. Her work is based on the ideas of functional pottery, decorative architecture and abstract sculpture but her interest is in how her ideas involve and inform the material.
Another underlying theme in Rosen’s work is violence. When she was a child she often watched violent action films. Her studios in New York and Philadelphia were in dangerous neighborhoods so Rosen was constantly surrounded by violence and she found herself intrigued by it. This influence of violence is clearly evident in her raw forms and her approach to aesthetics. The violence is expressed in Rosen’s work by her rough touch. Her raw forms clearly illustrate the forcefulness and roughness in which she touches clay.
While Rosen used to make traditional tiles she is best known for her ceramic sculptures. Rosen's work is fabulously, gorgeously useless; it acquires its form and purpose from extended dialogue with the functional. She sculpts numerous abstract organic forms and from these individual units creates an entirely new sculptural form. The subunits of clay in her sculptures usually mimic something in nature like a seedpod or a flower. The glazing of her work is generally very colorful and exuberant, meant to contrast with her raw and earthly forms.