Terry Rodgers – The Apotheosis of Pleasure

In the past few years, TERRY RODGERS has emerged as one of America’s most talented figurative painters. Thanks to a brilliant technique combining effortless brushstrokes and elaborate compositions, his paintings compel the viewer to participate in a disenchanted world where beauty, sex and money do not seem to bring happiness. In Rodgers’ world of appearances, the real wealth lies in the art of painting.

The Apotheosis of Pleasure, published by TORCH Books of Amsterdam, is the first comprehensive full-color catalogue to feature the work of this artist who will surely be recognized as on of the most important painters of the early 21st century. More than 60 works — selected in conjunction with the artist — present the full scope of Rodgers’ latest endeavour at portraying contemporary body politics. His rendering of the upper-class leisure life stands as an iconic vision of today’s society.

Terry Rodgers -The Apotheosis of Pleasure- (The Netherlands), December 2006

Leisure and pleasure are peacetime’s weapons-boredom and a latent feeling of insecurity, the inevitable outcome of consumer society’s technologies of the self.

US artist Terry Rodgers portrays contemporary body politics while playing on the very strategy dramatized in his XIXth century-like grandes machines: visual pleasure and unspeakable desire. With exquisite detail and generous brush strokes, the numerous figures, objects and other furniture pieces cluster in equal opulence following the lines of sophisticated and dense compositions. Operating as fields of semantic resonances, the pictures present colors, shapes and motives that together create new, unexpected meanings that reveal Terry Rodgers’s concerns for questions of class, gender and identity. Echoing the very content of the pictures, the compositions’ process of creation gathers street models photographed separately, an imaginary meeting which first takes place on a computer screen. They constitute impossible encounters, tight aggregates of elementary particles, so intimate, yet unable to get acquainted with each other.

Most frequently drawn to the composition by a foreground figure en repoussoir, the spectator in turn gets snared in a web of objectifying gazes, running in an endless loop, in and out of the frame, ultimately coming back on itself. Terry’s figures are pillars of salt emptied and petrified by the power of their own stare, they look inwards. Influenced by Velàzquez and Degas, Terry Rodgers’ lines migrate from shaping figures to structuring the composition; whether the setting is a room, a backyard, or a pool surrounding, they work as display windows for a taxonomy of manners in profit-driven societies. Terry Rodgers’ monumental canvases spread as visual narratives of speech turned sterile and the paradoxical unease at relating to each other in a hyper-mediated environment. In between the skins, almost imperceptible, hover the sighs of this army of bodies, self-disciplined in the name of Beauty and Wealth. However, as much as they seem to have completely integrated those models of conduct, the nonchalance of their poses disclose the body’s natural deformities, as if they were signs of an ultimate and innate resistance.

These are but a few of the many intricate dialectical processes through which Terry Rodgers’ paintings reveal themselves as ways of seducing us and subsequently throwing us back into reflective awareness. Ultimately, Terry Rodgers’ paintings invite us to give body to our own vision and start to look at each other again.

Catherine Somzé, Amsterdam 2005


The Fluid Matrix of Bounded Latitudes

The Fluid Matrix of Bounded Latitudes, 2008


Aeolian Inversions

Aeolian Inversions, 2008


The Retreat of Logic

The Retreat of Logic, 2008


The Encryption of Refracted Beauty

The Encryption of Refracted Beauty, 2008


Strangers In Paradise

Strangers In Paradise, 2008


A Surfeit of Dreams

A Surfeit of Dreams, 2008


The Gilded Logic of Partial Recognition

The Gilded Logic of Partial Recognition, 2007


The Calligraphy of Disproportionate Advantage

The Calligraphy of Disproportionate Advantage, 2007


Apostasy of the Heart

Apostasy of the Heart, 2007


The Curve of Binding Energy

The Curve of Binding Energy, 2007


Degrees of Separation

Degrees of Separation, 2007


Gaudeamus Igitur

Gaudeamus Igitur, 2007


Guardian of Secrets

Guardian of Secrets, 2007


Standing Watch

Standing Watch, 2007


The Language of our Eyes

The Language of our Eyes, 2007


The Rhythms of Infinite Grace

The Rhythms of Infinite Grace, 2007


The Axis of Love

The Axis of Love, 2007


Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone, 2007


The Curve of Time

The Curve of Time, 2006


Eyes on You

Eyes on You, 2006


Immaculate Reflection

Immaculate Reflection, 2006


Resting On Her Laurels

Resting On Her Laurels, 2006



Spellbound, 2006


Stealing Scenes

Stealing Scenes, 2006


The Sum of Human Knowledge

The Sum of Human Knowledge, 2006



Vespers, 2006


Continental Drift

Continental Drift, 2006


The Fragrance of Immortality

The Fragrance of Immortality, 2006


Harmonic Dissonance

Harmonic Dissonance, 2006


The Screening Room

The Screening Room, 2006


Allegories of Love

Allegories of Love, 2006


The Fragility of Peace

The Fragility of Peace, 2006


Subterranean Passage

Subterranean Passage, 2006


Delphic Inversions

Delphic Inversions, 2006


No Middle Ground

No Middle Ground, 2006


  1. Espectacular! Descobri o Terry Rodgers através do blog da Patricia, a minha filha, Equilíbrio Instavel ou o Mundo ao contrário, já não sei bem.
    É um dos favoritos dela. Já não tem blog, desistiu.
    Hellas! merdinhas da net.
    Eu resolvi recomeçar com A Rapariga e tentar recuperar textos meus, antigos.
    Gostei muito daqui vir.
    Voltarei com mais tempo.

  2. Pois devias ter calculado que foi no Equilíbrio instável que conheci Terry Rodgers! 🙂
    Nunca é tarde para aparecer, rapariga! 🙂

    • Isa
    • 17 de Setembro, 2009

    Este tipo de pintura ultrarealista sempre me fascinou. Gostei de conhecer este artista 🙂

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