This year, Hutchinson Modern will present a solo exhibition of Rodríguez’s work at Frieze New York. The show, entitled Freddy Rodríguez: Five Decades of Geometry, will feature the artist’s abstract paintings from the 1970s to present day. These remarkable works blend emotionally and socio-politically-motivated themes with rigorous formal concerns, evincing not only Rodríguez’s sense of color and composition, but also his shrewd engagement with a broad array of topics.
Having lived and worked in New York for more than five decades, Rodríguez’s oeuvre responds to tendencies that have shaped the City’s artistic milieu, including Hard-edge Painting, Geometric Abstraction, and Minimalism. At the same time, the Dominican Republic, Caribbean culture, and transnational concerns have continuously inspired the subjects and ethos of this work. Over the course of his career, Rodríguez has employed abstract geometry, gestural figuration, and vibrant color palettes to reference themes including the conquest and colonization of native people by Europeans, the figure of the Cimarrón, Catholicism, the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, and baseball. His practice often comprises serial projects that involve in-depth historical research.
Most recently, Rodríguez has pursued a series of paintings that explore the history, value, and symbolic nature of gold in art and society. In order to conduct research for the series, Rodríguez sought and was awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF), which facilitated work within significant cultural institutions in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Washington DC.
Freddy Rodríguez was born in 1945 in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.
Feeling his life was in danger due to the local political climate, he moved to New York
City in 1963. Rodríguez proceeded to study painting at the Art Students League and at
the New School for Social Research; and textile design at the Fashion Institute of
Rodríguez has exhibited work in numerous group and individual shows, including the following: The Illusive Eye, Museo del Barrio, New York City (2016); Caribbean Art at the Crossroads of the World, Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2014); Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC (2013); Unpredictable, Instituto Cervantes, Tokyo (2013).
The artist’s work can be found in various public and private collections, including those of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC; El Museo del Barrio, New York City; The Newark Museum, Newark; Jersey City Museum, Jersey City; Queens Museum of Art, Queens; Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx; and the Museo de Las Casas Reales, Santo Domingo.
Over the course of his career, Rodríguez has received numerous grants and fellowships, such as the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF), 2016; the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, 2007 and 1995; the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant, 2000; and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 1990.
Rodríguez is the subject of a forthcoming monograph by E. Carmen Ramos, which is part of the A Ver: Revisioning Art History book series published by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.