Michael F. Rohde’s Statement
My usual approach to tapestry is to honor the grid on which the weaving loom operates. Hence, my designs gravitate toward right angle shapes. The genesis of this series of tapestries begins in thinking about ideas which a few scholars have proposed: this is that some Incan textiles might embed an undeciphered language. The messages could be encoded in the arrangements of repeated shapes, and rely on color and orientation of the multiple shapes in the weavings.
So, these tapestries are part of a series in which I have created another, albeit imagined, language. The individual units are a 5×5 grid. Within one 5×5 grid, two colors fill each of the twenty-five smaller squares, in an asymmetric arrangement. Each tapestry contains 160 of these 5×5 grids or 4,000 individual squares. It is not known if each 5×5 shape is a letter, a word or an idea. What does each say to you, individually and as a whole?
Michael F. Rohde’s Biography
The work of Michael F. Rohde has been published in numerous exhibition catalogs, has been the subject of media articles across the country and abroad. He is author of multiple international magazine articles. Recently, he has had works selected by the US State Department Art in Embassies Program, for display in many diplomatic residences around the world. Museum shows have included invitational exhibitions at the American Craft Museum, the Craft and Folk Art Museums in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, the Wustum and Racine Museums in Racine, Wisconsin, the Mingei Museum in San Diego, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and the Textile Museum in Washington, DC. Solo exhibitions venues include La Jolla Fiber Arts and Regent College in Vancouver. In 2004, Michael had a tapestry installation as part of the Eleventh International Tapestry Triennial in Lodz, Poland, Textile 05 in Kaunas, Lithuania and the exhibition “from Lausanne to Beijing” in 2006 and 2010. In 2011 his work was part of the exhibition “Green: the Color and the Cause” at the Textile Musuem in Washington, DC.
He served on the ATA Board for eight years and retired in 2018. His work is in the permanent collections of the Mingei Museum in San Diego, the San Jose Museum of Quilts andTextiles, The Racine art Musuem, The Musuem of Ventura County, The Lloyd Cotsen Collection and The Art Institute of Chicago.