Rina Goldfield

My current work addresses themes of creation, language, religion, and reincarnation. I draw and paint, as well as pull from the traditions of illuminated manuscripts and Torah scribing with calligraphy and paper marbling.


I’ve most recently made paintings and drawings based on sonograms, a technology of inner illumination. I specifically depict egg follicle count sonograms, which are used for IVF, egg freezing, and other fertility interventions. The pieces use the language of abstraction, but are figurative paintings: they depict a person’s interior (the patient’s) and an absent figure (the absent fetus). I use black ink and gold paint, colors that speak to contemporary medical imaging around conception as well as gilded depictions of the immaculate one.


I am also exploring calligraphy of words containing the root “gen,” meaning birth or origin. The calligraphy follows a logic of extension and multiplication. Each letter is extra long or sprouts new protuberances. The resulting text is at times unreadable or pictographic, and resembles snakes, sperm, or baby bumps.


This work follows my ancestral lineage. My grandfather was a chemist who wrote about the intersections between art, science, and religion. His scientific research focused on the origin of life on earth, and his hypothesis involved a meteor crashing into the planet with life-creating arsenic.