After the Storm: Five decades of work by Barbara Rogers at the Tucson Museum of Art
Review of Barbara's 2012 retrospective at the Tucson Museum of Art.
Read the article written by Margaret Regan.
Fragments... From a Day's Caravan
Barbara’s 2007 solo exhibition at Gráficas Gallery, Tucson.
Read the exhibition essay written by Jan Ernst Adlmann.
Natural Facts/Unnatural Acts
Barbara’s 2001-2 solo exhibition at Tucson Museum of Art.
Read the exhibition essay, written by Julie Sasse, Curator of Contemporary Art.
"I see Barbara Rogers as an artist who works her way from agitation to an all-pervading serenity. Thus the psychological unease the pointed satire of her early figures turns into the monumental calm we see in her later ones--especially the female personages. As figures vanish, they are replaced by land- and seascapes filled with turmoil and its aftermath. As her imagery evolves, Rogers arrives at a vision of nature as tranquil. lush, and infinitely fecund. More generally, I see her has having made a powerfully original contribution to the currents of utopian speculation that have animated much of the most ambitious art of the past century."
—Carter Ratcliff, Art Critic & Editor, May 2011
"Forces of imbalance and randomness are countered in compositions that still hint at the naturalist concerns of landscape traditions, but owe much to the formal exercises of non-objective painting. Though Rogers uses recognizable forms such as flowers, bits of architecture and Baroque decorative elements, she arranges these figures over ground in play that is purely formal."
—Scott Andrews, Java Magazine, No. 189, March 2011
“(Her) design is not random, but rather symbolic as would be motifs found in Native-American pottery or Islamic scriptural and mosque paintings. Decoration in these instances conveys meaning, and this is what Barbara Rogers has achieved in her brilliantly pigmented, carefully choreographed canvases. Her use of multiple layers of imagery is stunning.”
—Dr. Lew Deitch, Editor, Artbook of the New West
Artist Profile in Fall/Winter 2005-06 edition
Gardens of Paradise: Bustan al Janaa Exhibition
American artist Barbara Rogers looks to nature as Allah’s gift of riches and visiting gardens as one of the great rewards of life. To her the garden is a protected, safe space of dialogue with nature. And nature in the garden is colorful in its beauty. As she puts it: “we’ve been given eyes to see the beauty of the stunning colors of nature! My works try to capture the intensity of this experience.” Roger’s works are parables of our relationship to nature as a sign of abundant grace.
The garden is a place of refuge, comfort, sumptuous and often formal beauty, and it is a place to enjoy the supreme felicity. These paintings and drawings are also dialogues of paint, color, form and space that reveal the garden’s often hidden beauties. In its perpetual ideal, the garden allows no fatigue, injury or grieving to enter. In the gardens of paradise, only the substance of ease, sustenance and bliss flow forth in beauty. Therefore, entering the garden is an ideal moment of life, and a celebration of the richness and vibrancy of creation.
—Dr. Paul Eli Ivey, Professor, University of Arizona, School of Art
Bustan al Janaa Catalog
"Critics have compared the artist’s work with that of 16th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, an assessment that Rogers understands. 'Bosch had elements of the grotesque, which set off the beauty,' she says. 'I, too, believe you can’t have one without the other.'”
- Bonnie Gangelhoff, Southwest Art, 1/05
SouthWest Art article
"Pace the horse of Minimalists and their fans, who would run screaming from such an exhibition as this, the decorative intent in painting stoutly remains for this writer and many others an important, historic, and deeply satisfying thread in the fabric of Modernism. Barbara Rogers, a wholehearted disciple of decor in the towering tradition of Matisse, has had a long and distinguished career, and her works on view at Chiraoscuro are not only accomplished, but full of decorative élan. Rogers at least on the evidence of this outing is a bona fide member of that Pattern and Decoration movement that first surfaced in the seventies, especially in the stable of the late, great, Holly Solomon, "P and D" New York dealer and champion. Some of the stellar figures in the movement include Rober Zakanitch, Miriam Schapiro, Kim McConnell, and Joyce Kozloff. What links these artists is their fascination with the role of ornament and pattern in the artistic traditions of many non-Western cultures: Islamic tiles and textiles, Native American weaving, and the intricate interlacing of Celtic illumination (the Book of Kells). come immediately to mind when viewing Rogers' effulgent work. Effulgent is a clue to another of Rogers' apparent influences since her glowing, downright exotic palette -- with intense shades of saffron, violet, cinnabar, and malachite -- is reminiscent of the otherworldly, shimmering floral compositions of Odilon Redon. Other kindred art forms that swim into mind before Rogers' paintings are the intricate and colorful arabesques of Oriental rugs and the jewel-like gues of pietre dure -- table-tops and floors composted of precisely cut and inlaid marbles and semi-precious stones. But Rogers' works rise above the purely decorative, suggesting a parallel universe of the mind. We were reminded of the lines from Shakespeare's Tempest, 'How many goodly creatures are there here!' "
-Jan Adlmann, The Sante Fe's Monthly M a g a z i n e of the Arts, 10/03
“What remains consistent in Rogers’ work is the garden and her love of and respect for nature. From her earliest airbrushed paintings depicting nature as a pleasurable paradise—to her acrylics delineating nature as sublime destroyer to her oil paintings expressing nature as a submissive participant in the formal garden—to her mature works depicting nature as having won the battle. Rogers continues to revel in the awesome beauty and power of the elements and humankind’s relationship with the life forms that exist within them.”
- Julie Sasse, Gallery Guide,
Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 1/13/02
“Hers are colors found in antique kimonos; delicious and beautiful as clothes, they pour over the senses. Rogers has been deciphering nature for decades. It is as if she is translating poetry written in a foreign language. She has become an expert in the tongue of flowers and foliage. In these paintings, disparate elements are combined as they are not in nature: a budding flower soaring like a large bird in the brown sky; a giant conical tree; lily pads floating in the gold-brown sky. She controls them like a ringmaster, isolating, sectioning, often going for a near-Japanese formalism combined with the baroque.”
- Charlotte Lowe-Bailey, Arizona Daily Star, 11/24/00
“It is clear that Rogers sees two conflicting things in gardens. On one hand, there is prolific growth and the corresponding death and rot. Anyone who gardens knows the smell of compost and the sponginess of good dirt. Rogers fills her paintings with that kind of fecundity. There are vines and tendrils all over the place. That kind of growth is unruly and, more important, uncontrollable. But, on the other hand, there is the organization of the formal garden, which is all right angles and clean circles. Rogers pits the two drives against each other. Humans try to control their gardens, but the gardens overgrow their trellises and borders.”
- Richard Nilsen, The Arizona Republic, 4/13/00
“Rogers’ vision of the garden as a microcosm of the struggles and cycles of our earthly condition reawakens us to the beauty and allegory found in our surrounding planted world. This is not a reminder cloaked in fear; it is one of simple promise and possibility. Though it seems like the garden may be the only place where man is able to physically guide and control the random chaos of nature, it is Rogers’ work that shows us the beauty in living inside as well as outside of these ordained boundaries. And while gardens may be seen as constrictive and limiting to the force and power of nature, all this is diminished by the beautiful simplicity depicted in the fresh blossoms of a flower.”
- Joshua Rose, Phoenix New Times, 11/23/00
“Her most recent works are thick, energetic mixed-media paintings that make an explicit connection between garden spaces and the spaces of the female body. They no longer imitate untamed nature: These are gardens, carefully constructed and cultivated piece by piece. “Structuring Nature,” a 1994 mixed-media on linen and canvas over wood panels, is a collage of photos of plants and palm tee bark and thick paint that in places rises three-dimensionally off the canvas. The garden, from the Garden of Eden to the garden courtyards in medieval illuminations, has long been a metaphor of female inner space. With her very contemporary assemblages of mixed-media, Rogers pushes the metaphor along. The multiplicity of materials resonates with modern women’s efforts to improvise a new kind of life, piece by piece.”
- Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly ‘94
“Such paths to the past are on equal footing with the masterpieces of old roman landscape painting, such as the great augustan fresco “garden of Livia” at Prima Porta. Rogers’ states “through continued work in realism, which has always included the importance of landscape, my work is positioning women’s gardens as important sites in this tradition.”
- Joan Altabe, Sarasota Herald-Tribune ‘94