Throughout his artistic career major themes consistently inspire his work: questions of theology, of the relationship between art and nature, language and consciousness and diversity to unity. Rogers’ new paintings continue to work within the Constructivist and Modernist traditions, especially in the placement of various forms. At first glance the placement of the forms seem awkward, somewhat imbalanced and disquieting, but over time a sense of unity and a meditative calm permeates the work. In Rogers own words,” in art you take maximum diversity and create unity.”
Unlike the high-keyed palette of so many artists of his generation, Rogers prefers chromatic and value contrasts that are more nuanced and subtle. The paintings evolve slowly over time. Often unsatisfied with initial results, the artist keeps pushing for new and often unexpected solutions. The process becomes one of resolution, dissatisfaction and then a reworking, a struggle for resolution. This painstaking process reflects the mature style of an artist who wants to see his new work as a continuous progression rather than repetition of past paintings. Rogers feel his new works reflect a shift away from any reference to landscape. Yet the richly layered surfaces, color palette and compositional structure are redolent with references to the natural world.
Rogers’ sees his works on paper not as collage but as paper constructions where layers of delicately delineated pieces of paper are built up as a sculptural relief resulting in a very painterly look.
Otto Rogers (b. 1935, Kerrobert, Saskatchewan) He received his Master of Science in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin 1959. In the same year, he began teaching at the University of Saskatchewan, where he served as department head from 1975 - 1988. In 1988, he was called to Haifa, Israel, where he served two, five-year terms as a Counselor member of the International Teaching Center of the Baha'i faith. He returned to Canada in the summer of 1998. Currently, the artist lives in southern Ontario.