Michael Rohde vessels installation view


Michael F. Rohde, a master of tapestry weaving and dyeing, has launched a new series of large-scale tapestries of pixelated FACES. The subjects of these portraits as ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines,’ role models, and thinkers he has selected for their compassionate persistence in fighting for social justice and equality. Michael has also included portraits of artists he admires.

Rohde uses both digital and manual technologies to produce the FACE tapestries. He crops photographs of faces in Photoshop and reduces them to a width of twenty pixels. A print of the highly pixelated face guides him in handweaving the tapestry using yarns he has dyed to match the colors of the photograph. This process creates an image blurring the distinction between abstraction and representation.

In Michael Rohde’s series of small-scale vessels, the artist adapts his skills in two-dimensional tapestry to construct volumetric forms. In creating these vessels, he plays with color and pattern while knotting with hand-dyed linen yarn. This technique allows Rohde to create vessels in which lush, colorful evolve on three-dimensional forms he could not achieve in flat-structured weaving.

Weaving since 1973, formal training in drawing, color and design came from the Alfred Glassel School of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.  Over the years, activities  included lectures, workshop teaching, juror, exhibition organizer and exhibitor in many local, national and international juried and invited shows.

Recently work has been included in the United States Department of State Art in Embassies Program, exhibits at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, the American Craft Museum in New York, the invitational Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland, from Lausanne to Beijing (twice), Houses for Nomads (a solo exhibit at the Janina Monkute-Marks Museum in Lithuania), an exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park in San Diego. My work is in the permanent collections of the Mingei, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, the Ventura County Museum of Art, the Racine Art Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago.

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