Jack Martin Rogers, Nude, c.1964, Oil on canvas, 29 3/4″ x 24 1/2″
NEW YORK – Anita Rogers Gallery presents ‘Peregrination: From Past to Present’, a solo exhibition of paintings and works on paper by British artist Jack Martin Rogers (1943-2001) on view March 22 through April 22 at 494 Greenwich Street in Manhattan. The gallery will host an opening reception on Wednesday, March 22, 6-8 PM.
Peregrination takes the viewer on a journey through the artist’s lifetime and his travels through Britain, Turkey, Italy, and the Greek islands. Through paintings, sketches, and watercolor studies spanning over forty years, the exhibition offers insight into the mind of a painter, musician, and philosopher.
Birds of prey play a prominent role in Greek mythology and ancient Greek texts; indeed, Homer often uses them as omens or signs from the gods, and Calchas, the seer introduced at the beginning of the Iliad, is said to “scan the flight of birds” to understand “all things that are past and all that are to come.” It seems fitting then that Rogers would have been drawn to observing and painting this celestial subject; the artist was a profound thinker who spent his life studying history and classical literature, alongside science, anatomy, and technology. This interest in time and the interconnectedness of past and present is evident in his work, which often depicts historical and modern themes alongside one another.
The show highlights major oil paintings the artist completed while living in Greece, as well as watercolor works on paper, and preliminary sketches. A curious and intuitive man who traveled extensively, crafted his own instruments, raised a family, and dedicated himself to art, Rogers spent his life seeking light, truth, and beauty in a turbulent world. In 1984, his family home fell victim to arson and much of his work was lost. Select examples of surviving works from that time can be seen in this exhibition, complete with evidence of the devastating fire; others exist now only in photographs. The exhibition aims to provide visitors with an overview of the artist’s career, from the early 1960s through his final years painting in the 1990s.
Rogers was born in Wiltshire, UK in 1943. He was classically trained in anatomy and fine art at the Birmingham School of Art. There, he developed his meticulous methods, especially evident in his preliminary drawings. He moved to the Greek island of Crete in 1962, where, inspired by the Greek landscape, history, and architecture, he entered his most prolific artistic period. He died in 2001, leaving behind an extraordinary body of work to his daughter, gallery owner Anita Rogers. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.