Rodger Jacobsen's sculpture is at once inspiring, amusing and quite frankly, amazing. Inspiring, in the beautiful classical forms he creates in a modern style, amusing, in certain pieces which make witty statements, and amazing, because he works primarily in steel that he says, "is great material to manipulate and play with." In his talented hands, this unyielding medium is as malleable as clay. A well-known sculptor, Jacobsen has devoted his life to his art. He travels widely and taught life drawing at City College of San Francisco. His work has been exhibited and collected internationally.
I don’t think I ever start a sculpture with a very strong idea of how it ends up: steel is a great material to manipulate and play with…stretch, bend, add, subtract, chop, flatten, the improvisations are endless. That was what I did with it, often hanging the pieces up with a wire and trying to figure a way to get them to come down to the ground so they could stand up. While I was playing this way I found that when the forms were juxtaposed in just the right way forms often appeared to be weightless and I tried to emphasize this aspect.
I also found that I am really interested in form and the space surrounding it and I would spend hours adjusting volume and placement in small degrees to get it right.
In the nineties I started playing around with the figure, I had thousands of life drawings and I worked from them. All my figure sculpture comes from drawing, generally keeping pose times to twenty minutes or less. I don’t find longer poses very interesting but a five - minute drawing is packed with information that I can use.
The figure reinforced my interest in form, I can adjust and refine forever. There is another feature of steel that I always thought about but never taken advantage of the fact that steel is a sheet, not a volume and my forms had usually been closed giving the impression of solid volumes. Now I looked for opportunities to open the form and let the steel act as a skin. Much of my most recent work is open; the figure may just be a slip or gown. This in turn leads to an interest in drapery, which goes hand In hand with movement. I am finding this a rich vein to mine, and it certainly has been productive.
St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Museum of Art
Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center, Marin County, California
Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, California
Central Missouri State College
South Dakota Memorial Art Center
University of Delaware
Hyde Park Center, Chicago, Illinois
Red River Art Center, Moorhead, Minnesota
Krannart Museum, University of Illinois
DeYoung Museum, San Francisco
International Exhibition of Pioneering Art Galleries, Lausanne, Switzerland
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
La Jolla Art Center, La Jolla, California
Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, California
University of New Mexico Art Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sausalito Civic Center, Sausalito, California
Hyatt Hotels: Lisle, Illinois, Dulles, Virginia and Fairfield, Virginia