Rudy Rotterís Last Decade
The artwork created by Rudy Rotter in the last decade of his life is marked by a full-throated expression of ebullience. This is evident particularly in the drawings and paintings of that period. †
As a self-taught artist Rudy included imaginary figures in his work as early as the 1960ís. That form of expression continued throughout the whole of his art making.† However, it was not until later in life that they became a primary vehicle of expression in much of his art.
Due to limitations of his physical strength brought on by advancing age, Rudy altered his focus from hard and heavy objects to working with lighter malleable materials. At this same time, he experienced an expanded sense of the freedom to follow whereever his imagination took him.†
the Joy Come In!
Add to this the transcendent happiness Rudy felt as he grew older. This clearly permeates his late work. As the above title states Ö Let The Joy Come In!
But why did a person with sophisticated self-taught anatomy drawing skills move to employing these amorphous fantastic creatures?
Rudy spoke of an event which occurred when he was in his early 50ís. During post-surgical recovery after an unexpected major surgery, while heavily sedated with opiates, he began seeing brightly colored figures and creatures flying at and about him. Worried that he was losing control he had the hospital staff set up bright lights into which he stared to help him maintain his mental composure
He later mentioned that this startling experience of seeing the vivid product of his own imagination went on to be an influence in his future art making.
The imaginary creatures in Rudyís art are a community of interrelating figures. Like his early entwined conventional teak bas reliefs, these expressive characters are densely placed and interconnected. Each figure has a unique expressive function.
What may at first appear to be uncontrolled scribbling, is not that at all. While these works each capture a moment of the artistís creative process, many of the figures are repeated often in his art during this period. Importantly, the initially chaotic-appearing drawings and paintings are in fact, sophisticated, composed and purposely emotive.
There is an intended balance to the variety of expressions found in any of
the given drawings and painting. Rudyís cast of characters, when put
together, create an alive and emotive experience that invites the viewer into