Oral history interview with John Roloff

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.roloff09
Creators:
Roloff, John, 1947-
Riedel, Mija, 1958-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2009 August 17-18
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
13 Items
Sound recording: 13 sound files (8 hr., 50 min.)
digital, wav file
155 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of John Roloff conducted 2009 August 17-18, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Roloff's studio, in Oakland, California.
Scope and Contents
Roloff speaks primarily about the intersection of art and science; his desire to look at these disciplines from multiple perspectives in his work; the relationship between materials and their geological histories; his exploration and exposure of the physical processes associated with the making of art objects; Roloff talks at length about ceramics; the chemical properties of the clays and glazes; their connection to geological landscapes; and their transformation through the firing process; moreover, he discusses site specific works; the importance of location in giving context to a piece; as well as referencing a site through site based materials; furthermore, he expounds his theory of anthroturbation; discusses the parallels between man-made and natural structures; and ruminates about his work's visual engagement with ecological systems; Additionally, Roloff converses about several formative childhood experiences; how they shaped his later artistic interest and evolved into thematic elements in his work; studying marine geology at University of California-Davis; taking a ceramics class with Robert Arneson; becoming a dual art and science major; the spirit of experimentation at UC-Davis, which led to his early ceramic discoveries; pursuing graduate work at Humboldt University; teaching at the University of Kentucky-Lexington; developing his Exile and Rower series; showing his sculptures at Lester Gallery and Fuller Goldeen Gallery in California; his shift from studio work to landscape/installations; the development of his Ship and Kiln series; as well as his later photographic work; Roloff also recalls Stephen Kaltenbach, Deborah Butterfield, Peter Voulkos, Jim Melchert, Dennis Oppenheim, Joseph Beuys, Kenneth Baker, in addition to the following galleries: Lance Fang, Paule Anglim and Reese Paley.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John S. Roloff (1947- ) is a sculptor and ceramicist and lives and works in Oakland, California. Roloff also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 13 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 50 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
System Details
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs (digital, 2 5/8 in.).

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramicists -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramics -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Science -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- California -- Oakland -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Submarine geology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beuys, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Butterfield, Deborah, 1949- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaltenbach, Stephen J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Melchert, Jim, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oppenheim, Dennis, 1938-2011 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fuller Goldeen Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery Paule Anglim Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gallery Reese Palley Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
George Lester Gallery (Rome, Italy) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Humboldt State University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lance Fung Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Davis -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Kentucky -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/