Rolf Jacobsen, a talented Danish artist and teacher, currently has sculptures on display at Stanek Gallery for two months - in both parts of the two-part exhibition “The Human Element: Obfuscation & Resolution.” Jacobsen's work is the vital connecting link between Obfuscation (March) and Resolution (April.) His work makes clear that no two human relationships are the same. The combination of two individuals is completely unique and irreplaceable -each relationship cultivates different emotions and experiences.
The work included in this exhibition, like all of his work, has remarkable depth that is brought to light through juxtaposition with paintings by gallery artists Danny McCaw and Stephen Early. First, Jacobsen's work will be displayed alongside that of abstract figural painter Danny McCaw. Both Jacobsen and McCaw share a profound appreciation for the mentor-style learning that brings out their ever-evolving artistic voices. Their formal training provided them with the skills to experiment with alternative types of expression while grounding their explorations in a sensitivity to aesthetics and balanced compositions. Afterwards, Jacobsen's work with be recontextualized in the second half of The Human Element: Resolution, by sharing the gallery space with contemporary realist painter Stephen Early. The co-mingling of Jacobsen and Early's work brings forth the warmth, narrative elements, and organic nature of Jacobsen's sculpture. In this way, The Human Element: Obfuscation & Resolution seeks to present the multi-faceted works of Rolf Jacobsen and its embodiment of the human experience in all its complexities.
Rolf Jacobsen brings his personal voice and contemporary existence/context to everything he creates. He began his formal study of art in Umbria, Italy where he was struck with inspiration from the country’s rich history of painting and sculpture – an inspiration that continues to serve him in his work to this day. While studying at The International School for the Arts in Umbria, Rolf met abstract expressionist, Nicolas Carone. Carone acted as a mentor to Jacobsen and the two spent years traveling between Italy and New York. Together, they started a new institution in Umbria – Art School Umbria (ASU) - where Jacobsen teaches regularly.
I have found that the interplay between painting and sculpture tends to enforce and even clarify both forms of art – extending them into unknown depths of color and form beyond my first conceptions.
Often it seems to have been waiting for me. Where Michelangelo said he sought to liberate life waiting for him in a block of stone, so do I seek it within time-embedded wood; and where Picasso claimed that abstract art inevitably contains its original figurative concept, so it is similarly there in my work.
The resultant ambiguity, as occurs in music or literature, draws viewers into the painting or sculpture, where they find themselves in unknown states of being -- never seen or even imagined before this moment in their lives.
- Rolf Jacobsen
Ziggy, 2023. Wood and gesso. Unique edition, 16 × 3 1/5 × 3 1/5 inches.
Jacobsen finds endless inspiration in Greek mythology and history as well as in contemporary figures with interesting life/stories and grandiose presence as in his sculpture “Ziggy.” Ziggy references both the David Bowie persona and Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried - Sigge which follows the tale of the fearless Danish entity of victory and peace who slays a fierce dragon and finds love.
Hecuba, 2023, Wood and gesso. Unique Edition, 7 2/5 × 15 7/10 × 12 3/5 inches.
Owner and Director of Stanek Gallery, Katherine Stanek, was first introduced to Rolf Jacobsen’s work at The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in the context of the sculpture exhibition “Rodin and the Contemporary Figurative Tradition,” where her work was also being exhibited.
Jacobsen’s sculpture was a standout feature of the exhibition. His modern approach using organic materials of wood and plaster provided a warm and naturalistic feel to his human forms. Though these materials are traditional - in the sense that they were used in sculpture and sculptural processes throughout history - Jacobsen elevates his medium by the wood and gesso to create expressive final forms whose compositions celebrate the unique character and irregularities that give it life.
While "The Human Element: Obfuscation & Resolution" focuses on Jacobsen’s wood and gesso creations, Rolf is a highly accomplished artist who has created large scale outdoor metal and wood sculptures, drawings, paintings, and most recently is expanding his visual language to include interpretations of his work in metal.
Er, 2023. Wood and gesso. Unique edition, 68.9 x 19.7 x 15.7 inches.
Icarus, 2017. Corten Steel. Unique edition, 78.7 x 31.5 x 43.3 inches.
Rolf Jacobsen is an accomplished sculptor, painter, and draftsman. Above, you can see his larger installation sculptures. These massive beauties exist in Denmark and Italy. These are all commissionable to customizable scale to fit your needs. Ask how to acquire this or something like this for yourself. Below are examples of Jacobsen's work in paint and mixed media.
"Untitled," 2023. Oil on canvas, 27.5 x 23.6 inches.
"Untitled," 2023. Mixed media on paper, 23.6 x 20.5 inches.
Jacobsen works in a variety of mediums in a range of sizes, all while maintaining his artistic voice and passion for his craft. Traveling all the way from Denmark, his work is not to be missed in Stanek Gallery's exhibition "The Human Element: Obfuscation & Resolution."
Studio shot of Chthonic Totem II