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. Santiago, Chile 1982) lives and work in Los Angeles, CA, where he is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Photography Department at UCLA. Valenzuela is the recipient of the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography and Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. He has received the Joan Mitchell Award, Art Matters Foundation Grant, and Artist Trust Innovators Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Screen Series at the New Museum, NY (2019), Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie, Vienna, AU (2018), Work in Its Place, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene (2018); American-Type, Orange County Museum (2018); Labor Standards, Portland Art Museum (2018); Future Ruins, Frye Art Museum, Seattle (2015). Recent residencies include the Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, MacDowell Colony, NH, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, NE, Lightwork, Syracuse, NY, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY.