Welcome to the Art of Rudy Rotter

The Art of Rudy Rotter

The artist Rudy Rotter (American, 1913-2001) created a special world within the borders of his many drawings and sculptures.  The prodigious amount of artwork produced over four decades was an intense exploration into the interconnectedness of humankind.

The core of this artist’s vision is derived from Humanism. The work expresses a deep compassion, empathy, and fascination with the majesty and mystery Humanity. The art is confident, intuitive, and viscerally abstract; a style he termed Primitive Expressionism.

The elemental subject matter is depicted through primal family groupings, iconic figures such as Adam and Eve, Moses, and other cultural archetypes. Later he added an assortment of imaginary creatures, often in a swirling context, to represent the maelstrom of life.

The style of this art is attributed to the Outsider and self-taught genres.

At first glance the work appears to be naive and primitive, but a sustained and focused viewing informs that the art is both sophisticated and complex.

For 45-years Rotter obsessively created art daily in an unheated 100-year-old warehouse in the small Wisconsin town of Manitowoc, filling three large floors of his self-styled museum.

The Rudy Rotter Museum of Sculpture ceased to exist with his passing. The artwork remains in limbo and is waiting to re-enter public view.

A fresh effort is now underway to make this excellent art accessible, and to tell the story of this significant and under-recognized artist.

Humanity Smiling On A Happy Sleeping Family
Magic markers on particle board – 12 x 30 in. – 1999

Humanity Smiling On A Happy Sleeping Family

  Larger image

See works @  …

   Flickr  (updated)


Revisiting | 2019 Essay
The consistent skill and intention of the artist
The Expertise of Rudy Rotter — from Early to Late Period image

About :   Who was Rudy Rotter
Wikipedia :   The Artist as a Humanist
Exhibitions:   CV – Exhibition List
Excerpt:   A Portrait of the Artist – in his final year
Update:    New Exhibition set for December 2024

Early to Late Period

Articles, Books & Exhibitions

 Outsider Art Fair  2019  –  Works on Paper | Booth #51 | NYC
 Folk Art Messenger  2018  –A Warehouse Full of Dreams
 Miracle of the Spirit  2005  –  Stories from Wisconsin
 Artist’s Letter  1995  –  Memories
 Let the Joy Come In  –  The Last Decade of Rudy’s Art


Two Works by Rudy Rotter, self-taught artist
These two works show the extreme divergence of style seen throughout Rotter’s 45 years of art production.

View on Instagram


KCPT Kansas City, MO (2001)

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2008)


Rudy Rotter’s Spirit-Driven Art

The Odyssey and Evolution of an Artistic Vision

by Anton Rajer


Rudy Rotter's Spirit Driven Art book

PDF formatlarge file / slow load
Online Slide Deck – fast load / lower quality

His creativity is driven by a passion to convey a feeling about humanity. In the sanctity of his Buffalo Street studio, it doesn’t matter who or what is outside the door. Inside, his mind and imagination take him to places most ordinary mortals will only begin to know by looking at his work.”

QuickTime Movies of Rudy Rotter
(recovered low-quality thumbnail videos)

Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies
Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies
Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies

Rudy’s thoughts on the act of creating

Rudy in his workshop
Rudy and his spray-painted creatures
Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies
Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies
Rudy Rotter self-taught artist movies
Rudy and his use of patterns and molds
Rudy presenting trophy material sculptures
Rudy showing his use of multiples

All inquiries are welcome.


Randy Rotter
The Art of Rudy Rotter
[email protected]
(206) 855-9625

rudyrotterart llc 2024