Rodrigo Valenzuela works across photography, video, and installation, merging his interest in art history, architecture, the concept of work, and the realities of laborers. Valenzuela builds scenes in his studio, often working with simple building materials such as cinder blocks, pipes, wooden palettes, corrugated metal, and two-by-fours. The resulting monochrome photographs constantly shift between flatness and architectural space, and between documentary photography and fiction, encouraging an incessant yet pleasurable tension. His compositions resemble miniature ruins built from studio detritus, and are documentative of the artist's performance in the studio. Simultaneously, they clearly reference certain Modernist masters - be it Abstract-Expressionist painters or Minimalist sculptors - as well as Latin-American Brutalist architecture.
Rodrigo Valenzuela (b. 1982 in Chile) lives and works in Los Angeles. He completed an art history degree at the University of Chile (2004), then worked in construction while making art over his first decade in the United States, completing a BA in Philosophy at Evergreen College (2010) and an MFA at the University of Washington (2012). Currently, Valenzuela is an assistant professor in the Department of Art at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Valenzuela's solo exhibitions include: Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna, Austria; Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA; New Museum, New York, NY; Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; The USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA; Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA. Valenzuela has completed residencies at Light Work in Syracuse, NY; a Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; ME; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2017), Open Sessions Artist at The Drawing Center, NYC (2016-17), an Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award (2014), the Texas Contemporary Award (2014), the Stranger Genius Award (2013), and the University of California Artist Research Grant (2015).