Jim Roche: Cultural Mechanic Exhibition: Ogden Museum of Southern Art
FEBRUARY 27 – JULY 12 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art
925 Camp Street,
New Orleans, LA 70118
For more information visit the Ogden Museum website: ogdenmuseum.org
Born in 1943, Jim Roche received a BA from Florida State University (1961) and an MA and MFA from University of Dallas (1968 and 1970). He was Professor of Art at Florida State University from 1973 until his retirement in 2013. Over the course of a career that spans the better part of five decades, he has created a narrative of place, ecology, Southern culture, the art world, and the human condition through his work. His practice has ranged from the groundbreaking and meticulous ceramic work in his Potted Mama Plants from the 1960s, through conceptual and expressive drawings, massive maximalist installations in museums and in the landscape, found object constructions, art cars, video, spoken word performance, and the delicately detailed documentation of his life as Dr. Curve, a motorcycle legend. Drawing inspiration from his native Northern Florida, the lush and delicate environment of his home, the complicated and often controversial self-taught artists and common people of that place, Americana, evangelical traditions, and his never-ending observations and critiques on human culture, Roche has created a body of work that stands as testament to a career lived by an artist with an unflinching vision and unstoppable creativity. After working in ceramics at the University of Dallas (1966-1970), Roche’s thesis exhibition was displayed for only three hours before being shut down for its sexually charged content. Following that, Roche was invited to the Whitney Museum of American Art Annual in 1970. His Life Symbols, Human Condition Packets and Animal Ascension Plot installation opened at The Walker Art Center in 1972. A solo exhibition of his installation, All in my Background, was mounted at the Whitney in 1974. Tree Grave Site was chosen for the Art Park in Lewiston, New York in 1975. He was included in the Venice Biennale in 1976, and his piece, Vampire Alarm, was included in the Paris Biennale in 1977. His work has been reviewed in both national and international publications, including ARTnews, Art Forum, Time Magazine, Stern, and The New Yorker.