Anita Rogers Gallery is proud to present a selection of works on paper by British artist Jack Martin Rogers (1943-2001). Anita Rogers, the owner of the gallery, is the daughter of the artist and now owns seventy-five percent of his estate. This will be the artist’s second major solo exhibition in the U.S. and the first to highlight the artist’s creative process and the centrality of drawing in his practice. The show will debut online and continue in the gallery when we are able to reopen our space at 15 Greene Street, Ground Floor in SoHo, NYC.
The collection features a selection of preparatory drawings, never before seen by the public, that reveal Rogers’ immense dedication to observation and detail. The artist studied anatomy and fine art at the Birmingham School of Art in the UK, often dissecting and sketching bodies of the deceased to learn how to better illustrate the human form. While in school, his meticulous methods took root and they remained at the heart of his work for the rest of his life.
The exhibition includes both architectural and figure studies, drawn from life and paired with their related paintings when possible, complemented by playful cartoons highlighting the artist’s keen sense of humor. The artist’s portraits in particular reveal a unique ability to render both the external and internal state of his subject with equal care; he captures the reality of the flesh with as much skill as he does the psyche of the subject. Tragically, much of the artist’s work was destroyed in a devastating house fire in Ortakent, Turkey in 1984; the artist was a prolific draftsman and painter and though much was lost, much still remains today, some still bearing visible evidence of the fire. This exhibition aims to stress the importance of drawing as a preparatory tool but also as an independent form of art, just as multi-faceted, and perhaps even more intimate, than painting itself.
Jack Martin Rogers was born in Wiltshire, UK in 1943. He spent much of his adult life travelling with his family across England, Turkey, Italy and Greece, countries that deeply influenced his work. He moved to the Greek island of Crete in 1962, where he began painting his most significant work. Rogers moved through many stylistic periods, ranging from fully figurative to abstract. The artist was also a devoted musician and his fastidiousness was reflected there as well - the artist designed and built all his own instruments. Rogers died in 2001, leaving behind an extraordinary body of work.