Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe’s (b.1945) paintings challenge contemporary ideas of aesthetics and purpose in art from within the art world itself. To the same end, his critical writings on painting and abstraction have fueled vital discourse around beauty and the role of painting in a post-Modern context.
“I was asked recently what my writing about art and associated matters has to do with my painting,” says Gilbert-Rolfe, “and I said that since the 1980s I’ve been writing about the same forces that my painting tends to be about: beauty rather than brutality, attractiveness rather than argument. Brutality and argument tend to be contemporary signs for the serious, and it was in part in response to that banality that I wrote a book about beauty which identified it with the frivolous.”
Gilbert-Rolfe is the author of numerous essays and books, including Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime (Allworth Press, 2000) and Beyond Piety: Critical Essays on the Visual Arts 1986–1993 (Cambridge University Press, 1995). His visual work is included in prestigious public collections, including the Albright-Knox Gallery of Art, Buffalo, NY; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, MN. The Ulrich Museum at the University of Kansas presented a solo exhibition in 2006; in 2007, his work was featured in Drawing, Stretching and Fainting in Coils, curated by Diana Thater at the Pinakothek der Moderne for the Festspiel in Munich, Germany. His work was also included in the highly regarded exhibition Extreme Abstraction at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY; 100 Artists See God, curated by John Baldessari and Meg Cranston for Independent Curators International.
Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe was awarded National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in painting and criticism as well as a Guggenheim fellowship in painting, and was presented the 1998 Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism by the College Art Association. He is Chair of Graduate Studies at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and is a Visiting Tutor for the Royal Academy of Art in London.