Modfellows Art Gallery / 3655 Trousdale Dr., Studio C February 18, 2023 - March 18, 2023

Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski, Germán Rojas

Award-winning sculptor and painter Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski, along with painter and muralist Germán Rojas, will be sharing their work in the two-person exhibit, Rituals of Renewal, at Modfellows Art Gallery from February 18 - March 18.

Nikos Fyodor Rutkowski is a Columbus, OH, based artist, and Rituals of Renewal marks his first time exhibiting in Nashville. With works inspired by elusive identifications of humans through the specific means of masks, he alludes to themes of social, political, and environmental nature. The transformative adornments worn by our kind can be traced deep into history, beyond the years of operating rooms, Batman, and space exploration. When talking about his work, Rutkowski says that it speaks “to the power of masks, and ritual, and invok(es) the traditions of our human ancestors.” The purpose of the concealing devices we wear on our faces is not just to alter the persona of those beneath, but can also be utilized in times of need, despair, and uncertainty. The multiple uses of these accessories of anonymity can build communities or tear down nations. Sticking to his theme, Rutkowski builds his works in layers, using both mixed media and paint, allowing piles of shapes to depict what is to come. The under-paintings become demolished pasts of the forms that later shape the future surface of each work—the surface we are allowed to witness, unlike the others that are hidden beneath.

Germán Rojas, originally from Mexico City, currently lives and paints here in Nashville, TN. He finds his personal voice through an alchemic mixture of vast influences, including works by Rivera, Clemente-Orozco, and Saturnino Herrán, who all told powerful stories with the language of paint and the unspoken words of the human form. Southern gothic literature, colorful art traditions of his home country of Mexico, and Flemish painting techniques make up other ingredients of Rojas’s visual narratives. He has a keen talent for capturing mysterious scenes full of emotive connections to viewers. His practice is a conduit honoring the painting traditions of the past while also creating dialogues about human vulnerability, the role of the painter in contemporary America, and the “other-ness” of the immigrant experience.

Modfellows Art Gallery is pleased to invite you to witness the transformative works of Rojas and Rutkowski with an exhibition opening on Saturday, February 18, 2023.