John Roloff - Description

John Roloff Photo

For an environmental artist, Atlantic City is a very unique and special site. Its history, social/economic, and geographical dynamics are especially engaging. This project has provided me with an opportunity to discover an inner Atlantis and put together an unexpected mixture of place, theater, technology, cognition, and mythic quest all within a puzzle-space of illusionistic descent and shifting light patterns. John Roloff


John Roloff is a visual artist who works conceptually with site, process and natural systems. He is known primarily for his outdoor kiln/furnace projects done from the late 1970′s to the early 1990′s as well as other large-scale environmental and gallery installations investigating geologic and natural phenomena. Based on a background in science, his work engages poetic and site-specific relationships between material, concept and performance in the domains of geology, ecology, architecture, ceramics, industry and mining, metabolic systems and history. He studied geology at UC Davis, Davis, CA with Professor Eldridge Moores and others during the formative days of plate tectonics in the mid-1960′s. Subsequently, he studied art with Bob Arneson and William T. Wiley also at UC Davis in the late 1960′s. In addition to numerous environmental, site-specific installations in the US, Canada and Europe, his work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, UC Berkeley Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, Photoscene Cologne and the Venice Architectural and Art Biennales and most recently The Snow Show in Kemi, Finland. He has received 3 artist’s visual arts fellowships from the NEA, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a California Arts Council grant for visual artists and a Bernard Osher Fellowship at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. He is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco. He is currently Chair of the Sculpture/Ceramics Department the San Francisco Art Institute.