Press Release:
John Roloff: Sentient Terrains/LA
Dog's Breakfast, 2834 Chesapeake Ave, Los Angeles, CA
May 11-June 15, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 4-6pm

We are pleased to announce John Roloff: Sentient Terrains/LA as the inaugural project at Dog's Breakfast

Sentient Terrains/LA presents two interrelated themes of Roloff’s work: a selection of new and recent Meta-Site: Vascular Facies Flags with attendant imagery, and a poetic/geologic investigation into the Transverse Ranges that stretch from the Channel Islands to the Mojave desert forming the northern reaches of the Los Angeles area.  As extensions of the Geology Flags, 2004-present and Venice Substructure Complex, 2016-2024, Meta-site/Vascular Facies Flags herald and explore themes of global metabolism and material/para-sentience.  The Meta-Site: Vascular Facies Flags signal a gradient or flow between two states, sentient to non-sentient, organic to non-organic, with the transitions implying a poetic if not actual unity or continuity between states.  Orchid/Mantle Facies Flags, s special set of new site/process flags and an articulated aerial diagram of the Transverse Range/Transtentional Phase investigation, apply aspects of the Vascular Facies Flags to the unique geologic phenomena of the rotation of the Transverse Range block since the Miocene era.  Ship Vectors and Ghost Orchid Vectors, deployed on the site diagram, are metaphorical agents exploring the dynamics of subduction, transform fault displacement and para-organic processes from fluid mantle to surficial terrains in the ongoing development of this salient part of the LA landscape.  Selected recent ceramic works in the exhibition, echo and further explore energy, climatic and metabolic transitions of the Vascular Facies and Transverse Range investigations. 

For the past 50 years, John’s work has been fundamentally about ecology in an expanded frame. His understanding of land, sea, and atmosphere engages interrelated cycles of natural and man-made materials and processes. This world view, originating in studies of the earth sciences, was developed through the practice of expanded ceramic: objects, installations, and conceptual proposals. His practice embodies material and conceptual transmutation as a symbiotic merging of physical matter and living systems across geologic time as an emergent paradigm he defines as global metabolism. John’s practice embraces an integration of ecology, ontology, self-organizing systems, energy flow, and aesthetics with expanded ceramics as protagonist, engaging narratives that seek to transcend the dichotomy of the living and non-living. Two recent exhibitions, The Sea Within the Land.., 2019 and Sentient Terrains, 2023 at the Anglim Gilbert/Trimble Gallery, San Francisco, surveyed historical as well as new work to John’s decades-long investigation of geologic time, sites, and other natural phenomena.

Please join us for a reception with the artist on Saturday, May 11 from 4-6pm
Sentient Terrains/LA is on view through Saturday, June 15.

John Roloff studied geology and art at the University of California, Davis in the 1960s and received his MFA from California State University, Humboldt in 1973. In addition to numerous environmental, site-specific installations in the US, Canada, and Europe, John’s 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, the Venice Architectural and Art Biennales, The Snow Show in Kemi, Finland, and Artlantic: Wonder, Atlantic City, NJ.

John’s ceramic and related works are included in collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA; Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco, CA; Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA; Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI; Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY; University Art Museum, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Newport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CA; Museum of American Crafts, New York, NY; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Lannon Foundation, Palm Beach, FL; Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Weisman Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV; Colorado Collection, University of Colorado Art Museum, Boulder, CO; Viart Corporation; Robert Pfannebecker, Lancaster, PA; Hootkin Collection, New York, NY; Rene di Rosa Collection, Napa, CA; Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, CA, and Fung/Talley Collection, Carmel, Woodside, CA, among numerous additional private collections. Public art works that explore geologic and related concepts can be found at sites such as: Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; I-5 Colonnade Park, Seattle, WA, and Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

John has received three 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 Professor Emeritus of Sculpture/Ceramics at San Francisco Art Institute. John lives and works in Oakland, CA.

Selected/Recent Projects