Michael Rohde

Artist Statement
Working in the medium of woven textiles, I use my tools to observe and comment on what I see. These observations come from news of world events, travels and study of ancient and traditional art forms. By employing simple, iconic geometry and strong colors there is room left to contemplate what is not there and not explicitly stated. Some work over the last several years has addressed the impact of human and natural causes on the homes and lives of people. These have included houses that disappear into the sands of war, are filled with rising flood waters, or simply vanish as the natural consequence of time. For other recent work, I have used photos of faces, some recognizable, some not, and reduced the image to 20 pixels wide. This produces the weaving plan, from which I again approximate the colors for each pixel and weave, row by row a set of squares, to generate an abstracted face, some from the art cannon, but many of remarkable people who should be role models for all of us. Yet, without the foreknowledge of what is behind the creation of these images, the works stand as objects of quiet beauty: begun with white yarns of wool, silk, linen and other fibers, I add my own dyes to achieve a range of colors and contrast not available in commercially dyed materials. Like a painter, I mix my own colors to create something new.

Artist Bio
Michael has been weaving since 1973, acquired his formal training in drawing, color and design from the Alfred Glassel School of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Over the years, his art activities have included lectures, teaching workshops, acting as a juror, an exhibition organizer and being an exhibitor in many local, national and international juried and invited shows. Recently his work has been included in the United States Department of Art in Embassies Program, exhibits at the Textile Museum of Washington, DC, the American Craft Museum of New York, the invitational Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, from Lausanne to Beijing, Houses for Nomads (a solo exhibit at the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum in Lithuania), an exhibition at the Mingei International Museum at Balboa Park, San Diego. His work is in the permanent collections of the Mingei, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, the Ventura County Museum of Art, the Racine Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.