Paul Cezanne is noted for bridging the gap between the late 1800s Impressionism to the early 1900s introduction to cubism and “modern art.”
He often accomplished this revolution with fruit. Cezanne’s still-life paintings teem with apples and pears.
In fact, still life through the ages has presented as much fruit as a produce stand.
David L. Rodgers of Valdosta brings a new perspective to fruit as still life. In his Southern Artists League exhibit at The Valdosta Daily Times, Rodgers is to the mango what Cezanne is to the apple.
Rodgers presents sublime representations. Small canvases rich with depth, vibrant with color, large on compositional power. At its essence, each piece has an integrity of texture and purpose. There are no false notes.
In these small works, he focuses on one fruit. Not a cluster of various fruits, not a bushel or a peck. Just the one fruit making as literal a statement as the works’ titles: “Mango on Black Tray.” “Lime on Green and Blue Napkin.”
Judging by the title alone, what you read is what you get. “Mango on Black Tray” is a mango on a black tray. But Rodgers breathes a certain purpose into these gouache paintings. His paintings aren’t just a mango on a black tray, but THE mango on a black tray. His is the mango archetype. The mango that is the essence of all mangos.
Rodgers is both artist and art teacher. His resume crosses the country: teaching at the University of New Mexico; the Wurlitzer Foundation’s artist in residence in Taos; working in Bloomington as a sculptor; National Endowment for the Arts and Indiana Arts Commission sculptor in residence in Bedford, Ind.; the first artist in residence and assistant scholar at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction; founder and president of Metaforms, Inc., a landscape architecture firm; teaching interior design at South Dakota State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, Sage College of Albany, New York, and Valdosta State University.
His sculpture is collected in Indianapolis Museum of Art, Amarillo Art Center, and the Stanford University Art Museum, along with works in the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago; Indianapolis; New Harmony, Ind., with dealers and one-man show locations including galleries in Taos, Santa Fe, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Carmel, Calif., and Washington, D.C.
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