Giacomo Santiago Rogado is a Swiss-born painter who represents complex optical illusions that aim to traverse space, time and emotions. His work represents a 'thought process that has materialised on the surface of the canvas.'Read More
Born in Lucerne in 1979, Rogado grew up between Switzerland, Spain, and Italy.
Before attending art school, Rogado trained as a carpenter for four years. He later studied at the Lucerne School of Art and Design from 2002 to 2005, where he taught the preliminary course for first-year students during his final year. Upon graduation, Rogado held his first solo exhibition at Mark Müller Gallery in Zurich.
Working primarily in oil, pigment, and acrylic paint, Rogado's practice represents a 'meditation' on canvas, reflected in the rhythmic forms that consciously toy with their own depth of field—both autonomously and within the gallery space. The artist describes his process as 'a back and forth between observing, immersing and intervening', in which a painting is never finished, merely paused.
First and foremost a draftsman, Rogado's works produced after art school demonstrate a more graphic and figurative sensibility, harking back to advertising imagery from the 1930s and 1940s. The diptych Poet & Poesie (2007), a large-scale oil on canvas work, depicts a man and woman in formal attire. The figure's torsos are coloured with the blue and white of a cloudy sky, contrasting against the largely sepia-toned colouring of the work.
Rogado's ongoing 'Intuition' series began in 2016, and shows the artist experimenting with a process-driven technique that allows the medium to decide the final outcome of the artwork. Using an untreated cotton support, the artist places the canvas in a trough of water and subsequently adds pigments, resulting in floating inky blotches. Although Rogado carefully considers his colour combinations, the series largely incorporates chance.
Rogado's 'Coalescence' series (2014–ongoing) employs symmetry and illusion to pull the viewer into the canvas, using a pared-back palette of colours. In Coalescence (Wine Red Iridescent Orange Yellow) (2020), symmetrical lines cut through the canvas to converge in the centre, and ripple outward to a shimmering effect. Both 'Coalescence' and 'Intuition' were presented in Rogado's 2019 exhibition Depth of Field at Bernhard Knaus Fine Art in Frankfurt.
Rogado has received numerous awards, including the Most Beautiful German Books award for his book Insight (2020); Werkbeitrag Grant, Canton of Lucerne (2016, 2014); Landis & Gyr Residency, London (2016); Recognition Award, City of Lucerne (2013); Manor Art Prize Central Switzerland (2009); and the Swiss Art Award (2007).
Giacomo Santiago Rogado has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions.
Select solo exhibitions include for the time left, Eins Gallery, Limassol (2021); constant change, Kunsthalle Luzern, Lucerne (2021); Kopf Herz Bauch, Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich (2021); Chameleon, Helvetia Art Foyer, Basel (2020).
Select group exhibitions include New Arrivals, Kunsthalle Göppingen, Goppingen (2021); Miradas del norte, Galería Kernel, Cáceres (2021); Enjoy the silence, Helvetia Art Foyer, Basel (2021); Perspectives. La collection d'art Helvetia, Musée d'art de Pully, Pully (2020).
Annie Curtis | Ocula | 2022