John Roloff - Press Release

John Roloff, Slump (Orchard) II, 1998. B&W photograph, wood, 14 ft.(4.3 m) h x 24 ft.(7.3 m) w x 18 ft.(5.5 m) d.

John Roloff, Slump (Orchard) II, 1998. B&W photograph, wood, 14 ft.(4.3 m) h x 24 ft.(7.3 m) w x 18 ft.(5.5 m) d.

Dialogues with Nature

New photographic works by John Roloff

8 May – 6 June at Lance Fung Gallery, 537 Broadway

Reception for the artist: Friday, 8 May, 6 – 8 PM


Dialogues with Nature, an exhibition of new, large-scale photographic works by the American artist John Roloff, opens Friday, May 8th at Lance Fung Gallery.  John Roloff, sculptor and environmental artist, brings to this new work the same experimentation and provocation as his well known landscape projects and installations.  His outdoor furnace projects and experimental greenhouses from the 70’s and 80’s form the background of this exhibition.  As a conceptual extension of this earlier period, the large photographic pieces in Dialogues with Nature incorporate powerful images, process, and rigorous formal considerations in an interior setting.  This refers to such diverse attitudes as the 19th century sublime, process art, earth works, and baroque architecture.

The focus of the exhibition will be Orchard (Slump) II, a site-specific installation of photographic paper hanging from the ceiling and reaching across the floor.  As an extension of the physicality and process aspect of Roloff’s environmental pieces, gallery viewers may walk directly on the unprotected, photographic image and “enter” the orchard.  The form of Orchard (Slump) II  references the geologic process of strata slumping which is the natural tendency of an earth mass to slide down slope. Other photographic works in the exhibition will similarly explore natural images in relationship with the architecture of the gallery and various perceptual issues. All of the works in the exhibition were printed by the artist in his Northern California studio.

Jennifer R. Crohn writes in Art Magazine, “Instead of dully resigning his imagination to the assumption that understanding of natural phenomena depletes the world of magic, Roloff stages demonstrations in which the inverse is shown to be true, leaving behind events and objects whose associative qualities span or leap magically suspended, between the need to know and the need to believe.”  This observation reveals aspects of Roloff’s subtext where formal and material consideration is only one layer of a complex system of emotional, ecological and primal responses to nature.

John Roloff has work included in such prominent collections as: The National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,  De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, University Art Museum, Berkely, CA, Lannan Foundation, Palm Beach, FL, Cornell University, Ithica, NY, and others.