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Peter Rodulfo (b. 1958, Washington DC) a British artist and sculptor spent much of his youth travelling across India and Australia, before settling in Norfolk where he studied at the Norwich School of Art and Design between 1975 to 1979. His first solo exhibition was held in 1980 at the Margaret Fisher Gallery, and for the past forty years has continued to exhibit widely both in the UK, Europe, Asia, USA, and South America. For the past decade he has resided in the Norfolk coastal town of Great Yarmouth, where he has absorbed the novel visual experience of the urban environment and popular seaside culture. During the past two years the subject-matter, style and imagery of his paintings has remained broad and experimental, possessing a variety of meanings, and directly addressing both the viewers powers of association and imagination.
Prior to the Pandemic lockdown, Rodulfo visited relatives in Trinidad, a return to his ancestral roots in the Caribbean. Embracing an environment, where culture has regularly appeared and disappeared, and amongst the rum-punch chatter, he was encouraged to experiment widely with form and colour in a series of works that demonstrate a visual energy and an appreciation of the indigenous artistic expression found amongst the sea breezes. Trinidad is a place where there are few attachments to the past. In a region that has experienced colonialism, revolution and dictatorship and gave birth to the calypso, steel pan and the limbo, these compositions, with a preternatural brilliance where colour is brighter and more vital than in his native Norfolk, appear to question the relationship with a place in which his painting ambiguously refers to one of belonging and being a visitor.
Reality can often be a bleak place for artists and the conditions of the Pandemic, particularly during the first national lockdown was a time when many artists’ ways of working were reshaped and constrained. However, the conditions of isolation were linked to a surge of creativity for many. On his return from Trinidad, and to the national detention, Rodulfo once again embraced his imagination as his own territory and faced the universal predicament of fact and fiction from his Norfolk studio. Like many artists Rodulfo was well used to spending stretches of time working in solitude, initially painting interiors (‘Hallway’ 2020) and, later, the deserted surroundings of local parks and watching the new day dawn on beaches. One sun, many days, the promise of hope and continuity is expressed in the anticipated light across trees and the shoreline in soul soothing settings that offer space for reflection and inspiration. As Picasso said, ‘art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’.
Rodulfo’s landscape subjects from his travels are chosen for specific and highly personal reasons. He speaks of being profoundly affected by the settings in which significant events in his life have fallen outside of the everyday, as illustrated in Cappadocia I & II, from visits to the heartland of Turkey, a region of exceptional natural wonder, characterised by the cave houses and ‘fairy chimneys’ and the Caravanserai, a common feature along the Silk Road that provide water, many of which survive from the 12th and 13th century. The Angoran goat, associated in mythology with the lewd and wild, with a reputation for unruliness though also a symbol of success in solitude and resilience, is a ubiquitous feature in numerous works, a kind of visual device, a possible stand in for the artist, a protagonist in the interior world, like a narrator in his novel.
Rodulfo’s early art education came from his father, Monty, who had hoped to study art in Paris but, as a step child of an ambassador, was expected to pursue a more traditional career in the army and ultimately intelligence services However, Monty continued to paint throughout his life, inspiring Rodulfo from an early age to paint including trips to the Ajanta caves in India. Now fifty years since his father’s death his inspiration for painting and exploration is resonant and has created works inspired by his father’s works in a reimagining, like pictorial aide-memoires, reflecting a kind of reckoning with early memories and the ways in which his own creative identity has been formed. Rodulfo often invites an intense engagement with his work to find the layers of influence and imagery that reveal connections to his past. Works such as ’The first fish I ever caught’ (acrylic, 2022) illustrate the magical occurrence in memory, a retrospective conversation with his father as a man rather than as parent and child, a memory that he was sadly unable to have.
Rodulfo’s work inhabits the world between what we know and what we dream, treading a line between reality and imagination. They evoke a kind of instability, a sense that change, like the end to a long British Winter, is the only constant. They are both alien and a form of shorthand in the form of gestures that refer to shared experience that reveal a mesmerising creative world.
Ipswich Museums Manager
Peter Rodulfo was born in Washington D.C, USA, in 1958. His early years were spent in Australia and India before coming to England in the mid sixties. He was educated in Suffolk, before going to study painting at Norwich School of Art 1975 – 1979.
Since leaving art school he has exhibited all over the world in both solo, group and open shows.
Rodulfo has a prolific output in many different mediums, such as oil paint, watercolour, etching, bronze sculpture and assemblages. His work can be found in both private and public collections.
1978 Solo Show -'Rare Bird', Norwich
Norwich 20's Castle Museum, Norwich
Solo show Margaret Fisher gallery, London
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich
Solo Show - Woodstock Gallery, London
Solo Show - Margaret Fisher, London
Six Artists of Individuality, Ipswich
Norwich 20's - U. E.A., Norwich
Norwich 20's - Caste Museum, Norwich
Manfred Schuler Gallery, Zurich
One Man Show - Christ's Hospital, Horsham
1984 School House Gallery, Wighton, Norfolk
1985 Margaret Fisher, London
1986 One Man Show - Kingsgate Gallery, London
One Man Show - Arts Centre, Lowestoft
Jablonski Gallery, London
Men at Work - Contact Gallery, Norwich
Larger Works - Arcade Gallery, Norwich
One Man Show - Danlan De Bairead Gallery, London
School House Gallery, Wighton, Norfolk
One Man Show - Contact Gallery, Norwich
Larger Works - Arcade Gallery, Norwich
Art'90 - Business Design Centre, London
Centre d'Art Contemporin, Rouen
School House Gallery, Wighton
One Man Show - Contact Gallery, Norwich
Art'91 Business Design Centre, London
Royal Society, Birmingham Smith's Gallery, London
One Man Show - Village Gallery, London
Royal Cliff, Pattaya, Thailand
Smith's Gallery, London
Mysterious Presence, Norwich
V.A.C. Hong Kong Museum, Hong Kong
Castle Art Show ~ Castle Museum, Norwich
Touchstone Gallery, Hong Kong
One Man Show - Heifer Gallery, London
Peterborough Museum - Heifer Gallery, Peterborough
Southwark Arts Festival, London
Miami Art Fair - Ho Gallery, U.S.A
Art'95 "Savannah", London
Contemporary Print Fair - The Barbican, London
Miami Art Fair, U.S.A
New Mill Gallery, Norwich
Heifer Gallery, London
Price Waterhouse, London
Wrentham Studios - "Shock of the New"
Suffolk Polish Cultural Institute, London
Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, Norfolk
Wahrenberger Gallery, Zurich
Sculpture Trail, Burgh Apton, Norfolk
New York Expo, New York
1999 Heifer Gallery, London
Kelburn Castle, Glasgow
Royal Academy Summer Show, London
Solo show, Auditorio Ambrosio Orepeza, Venezuela .
Art of Imagination open show, Cork St. London.
Solo show Gallerie du Marche Montreux Switzerland.
2003 " Brave Destiny" New York and Florida
Solo show flamboyant, Gioania, Brazil.
"Cor da Carne" Gioania, Brazil.
Solo show Brazilian art exchange gallery, Brasilia, Brazil.
"Cor da Carne" Brasilia, Brazil.
"Landscape 200" Castle Open Art Show, Norwich Castle Museum. UK.
2006 Retrospective exhibition. Thin Cube Gallery, .UK
2007 Solo show "from Basel to Brasilia" Miami USA
2011 Two person show with Mark Burrell. The Playhouse Theatre, Norwich.UK
"Outside the white cube" Open show Bermondsey, London
Open show. Radcliffe's and Newman's. London
"Vision and Reality" Norwich Castle Museum
"Race into time", with Stephen Vince. The Gallery, Cork St. London
2013 Solo show. Da Wang Cultural Highlands , Shenzhen, China
Feng Lin Shan shui International art exhibition, Shenzhen, China
Divine, Define Feminine. London. UK
Great Yarmouth Library Norfolk
133 Gallery Great Yarmouth Norfolk
Halesworth Gallery Suffolk
'Paint' Market Undercroft, Norwich Norfolk
Casa Tua, London
Skippings Gallery, Great Yarmouth. Norfolk
2017 Yarmouth 6 & Friends. Skippings Gallery. Great Yarmouth.
2018 Walking through Walls (solo). Skippings Gallery, Gt Yarmouth.
Solo Show National Library, Port of Spain. Trinidad.
Tripp Gallery London. Magical Realism.
Primeyarc – Great Yarmouth ‘At the end of the lines’
Chappel Galleries Colchester. ‘From Trinidad to Great Yarmouth’: solo exhibition.
Skippings Gallery. Great Yarmouth. Solo show.
Chappel Gallery. Colchester. ‘Portraits and People’.
Yare Gallery. Gt Yarmouth. ‘Weathering.’
Yare Gallery. Gt Yarmouth. ‘Summer Exhibition’.
Yare Gallery. Gt Yarmouth. ‘Circus’.
Anteros Arts. Norwich. ‘Moving On’.
Ferini Gallery. Pakefield. ‘Making our Mark’.
Skippings Gallery. Gt Yarmouth. Solo show.
The art gallery. Lowestoft. Solo show.
Yare Gallery. Great Yarmouth. ‘Yarmouth is Great’.
Chappel Galleries, Essex ‘Here Comes the Sun’ solo show