Terry Rodgers is an internationally recognized artist who has worked and lived in Washington, DC, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Rodgers’ current work focuses on portraying contemporary body politics. His rendering of an imaginary leisure life stands as an iconic vision of the tensions and confusions endemic to today’s society. These images are not snapshots or slices of life, but rather a compression and dissection of our rampant imaginations and mediated influences. The seductive and marvelous glamour of the outer world jars against the vulnerability and delicacy of our inner and private selves.
Rodgers’ first solo European museum exhibition opened May 2009. His work has also been represented in numerous museum group exhibitions. In 2007, his work appeared for the first time in Art Basel. And in 2005, three of his monumental figurative canvases were presented at the Bienal de Valencia. In the United States, he has had solo gallery exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago; and in Europe in Brussels, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Milan. European Musea exhibiting his work include the Stedelijk Museum-Hertogenbosch, the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich, the Museum Franz Gertsch in Burgdorf, the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Kasteel van Gaasbeek in Belgium, the Scheringa Museum of Realist Art in the Netherlands, the Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Kunstalle Krems in Austria, Kunsthalle Emden in Germany, Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee in Switzerland, me Berlin, Kunstverein Heppenheim in Germany, and the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague.
Several books about his work have been published including: Terry Rodgers–Dimensions of Ambiguity, Terry Rodgers—The Apotheosis of Pleasure, and Vectors of Desire. His work has appeared in many museum catalogues, and Rodgers has been featured in numerous publications in America and abroad including Die Welt, Art in America, Citizen K, German GQ, Kunstbeeld, Arte, Die Zeit, NRC Handelsblad, Numero, Zoo, Le Vife, Joia Magazine, Elle and FLAUNT to name a few. His works can also be followed widely in blogs internationally.
In my work, I attempt to reflect my sense of the times we are living in, and both how richly interesting they are and how difficult it is for most of us to navigate their uncharted waters. There is a great push and pull, the lure and the repulsion, the fiction and the real, the known and the unknown. And we live in this swirl of delicate gestures, driving desires, fantasy, economic complexity and interdependence, hierarchical separations, isolation and hope. I am trying to render some notion of this rich fabric.
Each of my inventions is replete with specifics—body parts, expressions, psychologies, ironies.
This profusion of luxurious details and a complex pictorial architecture in combination with frustrated and sublimated desires makes for a curious, static combustion in my work. They are a kaleidoscope of western culture’s dream-world, seen through the body, colliding with loneliness and yet suffused with an infinitely regenerative power. The images may look real. But, of course, they aren’t—neither are the constructions that inhabit our minds nor the language with which we interpret our world.
One of the things I’m trying to get at is the pure complexity of our world. One aspect of this complexity is the super-mediated nature of our experience. Another focus in my work, is that in the midst of all the complexity, there is incredible isolation, longing and hope.
But this work is also about the viewer—how we interpret and react to what we see, and how our own lenses determine our perceptions. We might just be subjected to the myth-making machinery of our minds.
Importantly, however, is that nothing I create is meant to judge or criticize. I am merely looking closely at who we are, the density of influences upon us, the choices we make, and the recognitions that occur in trying to comprehend a universe with no signposts. Terry Rodgers