Art and Southwest

$39.95 hardcover

Add to Cart

Detonography: The Explosive Art of Evelyn Rosenberg

Evelyn Rosenberg
Photographs by John Trotter

Winner of the 2014 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association

Artist Evelyn Rosenberg invented a remarkable technique to make sculpture by forming metal with plastic explosives. After many months of experiments in the mid-1980s with an Israeli explosives engineer, she discovered how to refine this unique process to make large-scale, intricately designed works of art and named the new art form Detonography. Working in the New Mexico desert, near where the first atomic bomb was tested at the Trinity Site, she transforms powerful weapons of destruction into tools of creation.

In this book, the first to showcase her work, she describes the history and genesis of Detonography and explains from conception to installation how a piece of explosive art is made. Her method is documented step by step with the richly detailed photography of John Trotter, a personal history, and an essay by Gideon Sivan, the explosives expert whose technical work served as Rosenberg’s original inspiration.


Evelyn Rosenberg’s sculpture is on display in more than forty public locations throughout the world. Its distinctive beauty at the intersection of art and science represents two worlds that have shaped the culture of New Mexico, where the artist lives and works. She has received numerous awards for her contribution to the arts, including the prestigious New Mexico Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

John Trotter has been a photographer for more than fifty years. Some of his recent work may be viewed at


“The story of Detonography is an important fusion of art and science, and the public art field will be incredibly thankful that Evelyn Rosenberg, the inventor of the process, has shared her life’s work and encourages more artists to use her techniques. The autobiographical background woven into the technical ‘how-to’ reminds the reader that timing is everything—especially when it comes to explosives!”


Sherri Brueggemann, Public Art Urban Enhancement Program Manager, City of Albuquerque

“Evelyn Rosenberg invented a new art form called Detonography. It involves using explosives to make beautiful works of art. Her artistic process gives fresh meaning to the biblical phrase ‘and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares.’"


David Steinberg, former Books Editor, Albuquerque Journal

“Spirituality, the rhythm of the universe, the power of nature—these are the themes detonographic artist and inventor Evelyn Rosenberg has been exploring for over five decades. Using explosives as a ‘giant printing press,’ Rosenberg has invented a bas-relief process that gives her intricate and expansive images a sculptural reality, as if her visions have exploded spontaneously down from the heavens. This is a book and a body of work that adventuring souls will love.”


V. B. Price, author of Albuquerque: A City at the End of the World

10 x 8 in. 112 pages 112 color illustrations