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Ron Rocco

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Under the Umbrella... 3/2008
Umbrella parts and silk screened scrim, 26" x 40" x 40" (edition of 3)
For many years my work employed psychological mechanisms of sensation and perception to open a larger social role for the visual artist. This work inevitably directed me toward the integration of new technologies, sometimes joined with ancient content. Formally, my background entailed a study in the life sciences, physics and mathematics at Fordham University, and the visual arts at The State University of New York, College at Purchase. The nuts and bolts of computer programming, and video image processing was undertaken at the Center for Advanced Visual Study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I believe my science background informed my work as an artist very early on. This became most apparent while constructing my Models for Large Sculpture in the seventies, exhibited at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York in 1976. These were based on arc segments of wood or aluminum and were tension generated forms, displaying a balance of compression and tension forces subject to the effects of gravity. The work of American artist, Kenneth Snelson and the German architect, Frei Otto inspired my investigation of these structures.

These concerns later evolved into sculpture activities, employing string figures taken from Inuit and Oceanic cultures. In this traditional context the figures possess a social facet, being employed in the communication of tribal beliefs and ritual. It was in this light that I chose to employ these works as mechanisms of dialogue with my audience. My approach found its first expression in two performances presented in the summer and fall of 1983. A String Form for Binding Nations, which consisted of the large-scale manipulation rope forms, and was presented at the United Nations, Conference on Communications Technology and Traditional Cultures. The second project springing from these interests, my New York State Council on the Arts funded performance, Zaroff's Tale presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York examined the role of the artist in non-western cultures in terms of spirituality, ritual and shamanism.

Michael Haerdter, director of Berlin's Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, described my work as "formulations of border situations and convergence-between nature and technology, heaven and earth, light and sound, Buddha and Einstein." This interest in moments of transition can be seen in several projects presented both in the U.S. and abroad.

The National Endowment for the Arts funded performances, Buddha Meets Einstein at the Great Wall presented at New York's Asia Society, and on a 1985 American tour, in collaboration with choreographer Mel Wong and The Mel Wong Dance Company, used dance and my computer/video installation to explore changing perceptions of time from both eastern and western viewpoints. It illustrated the convergence of eastern and western thought spurred by transformations in science and communications.

AndroMedia III an installation at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York was presented in collaboration with David Hykes and The Harmonic Choir and was funded by the New York State Council on the Arts. The 2000 year old tradition of Mongolian overtone chanting, practiced by these musicians, was used to control visual phenomena created by a system of scanning lasers, video displays and computers.

Focusing on the balance of power between the man-made and the natural environment, my Waterline Project was installed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1989. Created for the Dutch foundation ArtGarden and produced with the joint support of The Netherland-America Foundation, Art Matters, The New York Foundation for the Arts and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, it comprised three outdoor sculptures set in a park-like environment. These works commented on the Dutch accomplishment of redefining natural boundaries between earth and sea by creating unique juxtapositions of sculpture with the natural surroundings.

In The Horizon is Nothing More than the Limit of Our Sight, my installation for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York in 1990, the horizon like the transition of the artist to shaman, defined a perceptual boundary. This installation implied a new social awareness, of people holding interests of a greater human-ecological character. Traversing a maze of barriers and confronting the video landscape which comprise this work, the spectator explores the conceptual limits, which isolate us from nature.

Since 1990, I have undertaken several major European projects during residencies at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien and KunstFabrik in Berlin, Germany and Kunst & Complex in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My interest in fusing technological advancements in visual phenomena and projection, with natural and traditional subject matter or environments has remained a strong element of my work in installation and sculpture. This installation, commissioned by the Stone Quarry House Art Park, is the most recent manifestation of this recurrent theme in my oeuvre.

Ron Rocco

1953 born in Ft. Hood, Texas, United States

Lives and works in New York City /berlin, Germany


1983 Center for Advanced Visual Study at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Ma. Master of Science in Visual Studies Program.
1976 State University of New York, College at Purchase, N.Y. Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
1972 Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y. Bachelor of Science Program.


2003 New York Foundation for the Arts, Award in Printmaking.
2002 Nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation award.
1998 CBK Centrum Bildende Kunst, Rotterdam and The Netherlands Consul to North America, with Arnold Schalks for Communicating Vessels.
1989 The Netherland-America Foundation, under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet for The Waterline Project.
The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts.
Art Matters Foundation.
New York Foundation for the Arts, Award in Sculpture.
1985 New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Program: Sponsored Projects.
1984 National Endowment for the Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts Program, with the Mel Wong Dance Co.
1982 New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Program: Sponsored Projects.
1977-79 National Endowment for the Arts, Expansion Arts Program for Festival Ithaca Projects.
1977 The Creative and Performing Arts Council of Cornell University, Award in Sculpture.
1976 The Sculpture Award of the Ithaca Art Association.

Solo Exhibitions

2004 Hudson Guild, N.Y., N.Y. Frei Zeit.
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y. Structures of Detention.
2002 Galerie Völcker & Freunde, Berlin, Germany. Sackgasse /Dead End.
1999 University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts. Collected Visions.
1993 Warehouse Galerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Private Parts.
1991 Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany. The Berlin Project.
Amerika Haus, Berlin, Germany. The Berlin Project.
1989 Foundation Artgarden, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Sculpture: The Waterline Project.
1987 P.S.1 Museum Long.Island.City., N.Y. Sculpture: Special Projects.
1983 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, N.Y., N.Y. A Performance: Zaroff's Tale.
1979 Gallery Danielli, Toronto, Canada. Ron Rocco: New Sculpture.
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca , New York Meketra Installation.
1976 Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, N.Y. Sculpture.

Group Exhibitions

2009 Tina B. International Art Festival, Prague Czech Rep.
Scope /Basel CTS Gallery Brooklyn, NY Bloody State
2008 IPCNY /International Print Center, New York. Under the Umbrella...
ArtForum 2008 Berlin, Germany. with Pierogi Gallery
Supermarkt 2.0, Berlin, Germany. Shipwrecked
Berliner Liste 2008, Berlin, Germany. with Wolfram Völcker Fine Art
2007 Supermarkt 2.0, Berlin, Germany. Amerika.
Berliner Liste 2007, Berlin, Germany. with Galerie Völcker & Freunde
Artnews Projects, Berlin, Germany. Pierogi Flatfiles
2006 Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, N.J.
Among the Trees.
Kunst & Complex, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 25 years.
Viktoriapark Breweri, Berlin, Germany. Crossings.
Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazanovia, NY StarBlind.
2004 Scope /New York Galerie Völcker & Freunde, N.Y., N.Y Frei Zeit
Scope /Miami Galerie Völcker & Freunde, Miami, FL 30 Minutes
Rockland Center for the Arts, Nyack, NY. Digital and Beyond.
2001 Gallery 138, New York, N.Y. The Museum of Unspoken Desire.
Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, New York. Inaugural Invitational.
ABC NO RIO, Fire Patrol #5 Gallery and The Hudson Guild, New York, New York. The Politics of Racism.
2000 Islip Art Museum/Anthony Giordano Gallery, Islip, New York. Urban Nature.
Galerie Völcker & Freunde, Berlin, Germany. The Berlin Diary.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and POST Gallery, Los Angeles, California. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles.
1999 Campo & Campo, Antwerp, Belgium. Twenty-six American Artists.
Galerie Völcker & Freunde, Berlin, Germany. Carriage Return /Junge Künstler zum Thema Computer, Kommunilation und Dynamik.
Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles.
1998 Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, New York Communicating Vessels.
Weatherspoon Art Gallery Greensboro, North Carolina. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles.
Kunstlerhaus Vienna, Austria. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles.
1997 Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles at Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn.
The Herbert and Vera List Center at M.I.T. Cambridge, Massachusetts. PORT/Navigating Digital Culture.
Gasworks-London, and Cornerhouse-Manchester, England. Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles.
1996 Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York. Luminous Bodies.
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York. 25 years of Visual Arts at Purchase.
Sylvia White Gallery, New York, New York. Reality Check: Cultural Questions and Political Commentaries.
1995 ISEA95 Montreal, International Exhibition of Electronic Art. Andro-media.
1992 Galerie Schoen+Nalepa, Berlin, Germany. Aktuelle Strömungen.
1991 Fundaçao Demócrito Rocha, Fortalesca, Brazil. Exposiçao Internacional de Escúlturas Efêmeras.
1990 The Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, N.Y. The Technological Muse.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y. Installation: The Horizon is Nothing More than the Limit of Our Sight.
1989 The University Art Gallery, S.U.N.Y. at Albany, N.Y. NYFA Fellows: Sculpture.
1987 Brooklyn Art and Cultural Assoc., Brooklyn, N.Y. Sculpture: A Warning to My Friends.
P.S.1 /Institute for Art and Urban Resources, N.Y., N.Y. Sculpture: Special Projects.
The Banff Center, Alberta, Canada Installation for the Visualization of Sound.
1986 CAD/CAM International Exhibition of Computer Artforms, Kortijk, Belgium. Time Studies for Modern Dance.
Cathedral of St.John the Divine, N.Y., N.Y. The Visualization of Sound: Light Sphere with The Harmonic Choir.
1985 The Asia Society, N.Y., N.Y. Buddha Meets Einstein at the Great Wall.
The Video Image Invitational, Foundation Georgio Ronchi, Capri, Italy. Time Studies for Modern Dance.
The Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, N.Y. The Artist and the Computer.

1983 United Nations, N.Y., N.Y. Performance: A String Form for Binding Nations.
Center for Advanced Visual Study at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Ma. Installation: Andromedia 1.
1981 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York Mini-ParapPerform-Actions: Zaroff’s Tale.
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, New York. A Week of Performance Art: Laser Sculpture Dance.
1981 The Showing Room, New York, New York. Performance and sculpture installation: Raw Data for the I.V.
IV Biennale Internazionale Dantesca, Ravenna, Italy. Small Sculpture.
1977 First Festival Ithaca, Ithaca, New York. The Altair Installation.
1975 Roy R. Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York. Installation: Untitled One.


1997 Art work selected for commission as part of the New Jersey Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station at West Avenue Jersey City, N.J.
1996 Selected for sculpture commission as part of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority’s LIRR Rail station at Long Beach, N.Y.
1996-01 Appointed Board of Director for ASCI/Art and Science Collaborations. N.Y., N.Y.
1993 The Berlin Project, acquired by The Berlinische Galerie in Berlin Germany as part of the permanent collection.
International Studio Program at KUNST & COMPLEX. Rotterdam, Netherlands. Artist-in-Residence
1991-92 International Studio Program at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany. Guest Artist
1990 Sculpture selected for purchase as part of the Washington State Art Commission’s Art in Public Schools Program. Seattle, WA.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y. commissions the installation: The Horizon is Nothing More than the Limit of Our Sight for the exhibition
Working in Brooklyn.
1977-90 Guest Lecturer, S.U.N.Y. Albany, N.Y.; Harvard University Cambridge, Ma.; Columbia University, N.Y., N.Y.; Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y.
1989 The Waterline Project, commissioned by Foundation ArtGarden with funds from The Netherlands America Foundation Amsterdam, Netherlands
1982-01 Resident Video Artist, The Experimental T.V. Center, Owego, N.Y.
1987 Artist in Residence, The Banff Center, Alberta, Canada.
1977 First Festival Ithaca, Ithaca, New York commissions Altair with funding from The National Endowment for the Arts.
1977-79 Founder/Director, The Ithaca Artists Cooperative, Ithaca, New York.


abbreviated list: Sandra Amann & Michael Pashby New York, N.Y.; Mr. & Mrs. Charles Barquist Los Angeles, California; Mr. William Basta Greenwich, Connecticut; Mr. Charles Beachley Paris, Texas; The Berlinische Galerie Berlin, Germany; Mr. David Bower Chicago, Illinois; Ms. Leslie Bussis New York, N.Y.; Ms. Maria Castro New York, N.Y.; Mr. Chris Clark Greenwich Connecticut; Mr. Peter Codella Deer Isle, Maine; Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y.; Dr. Joseph Dalessandro DDS Nyack, N.Y.; Gallery Danielli Toronto, Canada; Dr. Alison Estabrook Rye, N.Y.; Ms. Elizabeth Estabrook New York, N.Y.; Dara & Evan Kingsley Pleasantville, N.Y.; Mr. Richard Everett San Francisco, California; The Family and Children's Service Center Ithaca N.Y.; Ms. Mimi Fierle New York, N.Y.; Ms. Sorrel Fisher Washington D.C.; Ms. Kathy Garrity Ithaca, N.Y.; Ms. Angela Gilchrist New York, N.Y.; Ms. Ronnie Gross New York, N.Y.; Michael Haerdter Berlin, Germany; Ms. Susan Hapgood New York, N.Y.; Ms. Pat Hearst, Connecticut; Mr. Craig Keller Bufalo, N.Y.; Carolyn & Dan Lang; Massachusetts; Lisa Levart and Myles Aronowitz Nyack, N.Y.; Mr. Henry Linhart Brooklyn, N.Y.; Mr. Masa Matsuzaki Tokyo, Japan; Mr. Timothy Mehne Houston, Texas; Mr. Flip Mehne Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; Mr. William Meyers Ithaca, N.Y.; Mr. Rob Moonen Tilbug, The Netherlands; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Berlinger Katonah, New York ; Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Clark Greenwich, Connecticut; Ms. Irena Nalepa Berlin, Germany; New Jersey Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station at West Avenue Jersey City N.J.; Ms. Lauren Noia San Diego, California; Ms. Holly Pope Boston, Massachusetts; Ms. Lee Pope Somers, N.Y.; Mr. Jan Quaegebeure New York, N.Y.; Mr. Harvey Redding New York, N.Y.; Ms. Margret Rich Ithaca, N.Y.; Ms. Madeline Rocco New York, N.Y.; Ms. Barbara Rosenthal Bennington, Vermont; Mr. David Rosenthal New York, N.Y.;; Ms. Judy Rosenthal New York, N.Y.; Ms. Melinda Shore Chicago, Illinoise; Mr. Geoffrey Stewart New York, N.Y.; Peter & Wendy Verstappen Connecticut; Mr. Charles von Nostitz New York, N.Y.; The Washington State Arts Council/Art in Public Places Seattle Washington.


The New York Times Arts & Entertainment April 22, 2001 Inaugural Invitational at Collaborative Concepts, Beacon, New York
Warehouse Galerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands Ron Rocco Private Parts - Rotterdam 1993
Leonardo Magazine, Vol.26 #4 1993 New Horizons: Notes on a Video Installation
Fundaçao Demócrito Rocha, Fortalesca, Brazil 1991. Exposiçao Internacional de Escúlturas Efêmeras
Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany Ron Rocco The Berlin Project 1991
Plus, Minus, Zero Brussel, Belgium Dec. 1991 Le Projet Berlin
Berliner Morgenpost, Dec.17, 1991 Kunst-Splitter: Amerika Haus
Brandenburg Kurier, Dec.13, 1991 Neue Ausstellung: Ron Rocco / The Berlin Project
The New York Times, Friday, Dec.28, 1990 Exhibition in Katonah: The Machine as Muse
The Danbury New Times, Vol.8/Issue 46 Nov.17, 1990 Art and Technology
The Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York 1990 The Technological Muse
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York October 1990 Working in Brooklyn / Installations
The Phoenix, Brooklyn, New York August 9, 1990 Art Made in Brooklyn
New York Newsday, Tuesday, Aug.7, 1990 Installations with Twists of their Own
Greenline, Brooklyn, New York May 1990 "Celebration" - Artists Exhibit in Local Lofts
The Netherland-America Foundation, New York, New York Annual Report 1989
Newark Star Ledger, April 26, 1987 Art: Morris Exhibit Interfaces Art and Modern Science
The Arizona Republic, Dimitri Drobatschewsky Nov.22, 1986 East meets West
Beaux Arts Magazine, No.26 Juil/Aout 1985 Video a Capri
The New York Times, Monday April 4, 1985 Art from All Corners: Buddah Meets Einstein
The Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York Annual Report 1983
The New York Times, Tuesday, Sept.6, 1983 Suspense Story
The New York Times, May 26, 1981 Ron Rocco/Laser Sculpture Dance
High Performance Magazine, Issue 17-18/Vol.5 #1 Summer 1982 Ron Rocco/Laser Sculpture Dance 1981
Edizioni del Centro Dantesco, Ravenna, Italy Ottobre 1979 L’Inferno di Dante e dell ‘Uomo Moderno
The Times Gazette, Ithaca, New York March 11, 1978. Inside Art: New Ithaca Gallery Shows Two Sculptors
The Times Gazette, Ithaca, New York April 14, 1977. Art Ron Rocco: Physically Sound


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Ron Rocco

Brooklyn, NY 11231


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