Columbia College Chicago, 1989
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Carlos Rolón has been recognized for his elaborately crafted paintings, ornate sculptures and works that come out of American, Latino and uniquely based subcultures. His studio practice investigates pop culture, craft, ritual, beauty and its relationship to art history, subculture, appropriation and the institution. As a first-generation immigrant of Puerto Rican decent, the artist creates objects questioning the concept of luxury and craft making to explore questions of identity, integration and aspiration. His work also represents a detailed examination of curiosity and the process of art making and the cultures surrounding this. The work often addresses his biography by melding memory and the imaginary with carefully crafted, hybrid works that are playfully situated between the contradictory worlds of conspicuous consumption and urban artifact. The work is at once melancholic, excessive and exuberant, poised somewhere between celebration and regret. Rolón illuminates how the masculine can become delicate and the how the baroque can be minimal. The artist often channels this approach with site-specific installation work, vivid large-scale paintings and ornate sculptures in various materials expanding on ideas of self-reflection and imagined luxury. This approach questions not only cultural identity, but also its place within the confines of the institution. The works ultimately produce a hybrid language of social practice, painting and sculpture inviting the viewer to engage in discourse and discussion.
Rolón has had solo exhibitions at The Dallas Contemporary, Dallas; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and CAM Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. His work has also been exhibited in group shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany; Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museo del Barrio, New York and Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), Canary Islands; Oakland University Art Gallery, Michigan and Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 2007 Rolón represented Ukraine in the 52nd Venice Biennale. He is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation award for Painting and Sculpture.
SELECT PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
Bass Museum of Art, Miami
Brooklyn Museum, New York
City of Chicago Public ArtCollection
Deagu Art Museum, Deagu
Museo del Barrio, New York
Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan
Museum Het Domein, Sittard, The Netherlands
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City
Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine