Bio and artist's statement

Bio: 

Will Rothfuss is a collagist, a painter of geometric abstraction, and an assemblage artist as well as an occasional hyper-realist and plein air painter. He studied painting and drawing at the Art Students League of NYC and abstraction, art history, and printmaking at Cornell University. His work and aesthetic have evolved over a 40+ year career. 

Current two-dimensional abstract work layers imagery appropriated from other art and text and poetry and incorporates custom printed paper and fabric, reproductions, found screened printed T-shirts, paint and wax in dense geometric webs of lines and blocks. The corresponding sculptural reliefs use wood, books, beeswax and paint in exploring similar formal ideas. 

Will has worked extensively as a cabinetmaker and scenic designer as well. He currently maintains a full time artmaking practice near Delaware Water Gap, PA.



Statement: 

My current abstract practice is about the perfection of form, or more specifically, searching for forms that organize or curate large amounts of visual data (primarily images and texts from modern art) in geometric or architectural structures. The work is hierarchical in nature (figure and ground as opposed to “all over”). 

To this end, my primary mediums for formal exploration are collage and assemblage which recycle visual materials that have had a previous use. The original text, imagery, and “content” is fragmented, juxtaposed randomly, and ultimately absorbed by the form. Materials include men’s leisure shirts and silk-screened T shirts with printed bits of poetry, old master reproductions, art magazine clippings, wood fragments of furniture and shipping pallets, tools, books, and paint and wax. 

The most recent series, which I call the “Océan de Terre “ series,  was inspired by the poem of the same name by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire.  Although geometric in form, they are surrealistic in conception- any meaning accrues unconsciously from the manipulation of form. These compositions, which I call “poulpes” (octopus in French- from the poem) and the “tree” series ( that recall the abstracted silhouette of a tree) use a matrix of vertical and horizontal “lines” to define the structure, creating a matrix of interlocking forms. 

October 2019