Newport Art Museum Press Release for Rita Rogers: Selected Paintings


For immediate release
July 7, 2009


Exhibitions General Media Inquiries/Photos
Nancy Whipple Grinnell Gayle Hargreaves
(401) 848-8200 (401) 338-8563

Rita Rogers: Selected Paintings

Newport Art Museum

August 29, 2009 – November 29, 2009

Newport Art Museum – August 29, 2009 – November 29, 2009

NEWPORT, RI: The Newport Art Museum takes a look back at three decades of work by Rita Rogers this fall – paintings the Newport artist has created since a devastating house fire destroyed much of her earlier work in 1977. “Rita Rogers: Selected Paintings” opens on Saturday, August 29 and runs through November 29, 2009. The Museum, at 76 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI, will host a preview reception on Friday, August 28 from 5 – 7 pm. The reception is free for Newport Art Museum members; 10 for non-members. RSVP (401) 848-8200 x 104.

Rogers has moved from painting to printmaking and back again during her career. As a young artist during the 1960s, she felt her abstract paintings were “following the same trajectory” as many other artists working in New York City at the time. Believing that her work was not distinctive enough, she gave up painting. Rogers says, “I wanted to be more of an individual. I started making prints and became obsessed.” Turning against the tide of the time, Rogers’ large intaglio prints were realistic rather than abstract. She lost many of these works during the 1977 fire.

The earliest works in the Newport Art Museum retrospective date back to the early 1980s when Rogers started painting again, shifting from realism back into the abstract style. It was a good move. “The world opened up for me,” she remembers. Her work began attracting critical attention, she received numerous grants and awards throughout the 80s and 90s and her paintings were featured frequently in group and solo shows in New England and New York.

Reflecting on the evolution of her work, Rogers says, “When I was younger, I thought I was always improving, but now I don’t have any sense of progression. I spiral – going back and picking things up and bringing them forward. I’m trying to be more accurate.”

Rogers says she has tried to make her paintings “as painterly as possible,” meaning that they are more about formal concerns such as order, color and the paint itself than they are about subject matter. Still, she admits that these vibrant works are often “an embodiment of sensation,” and as she looks back on the paintings as a group, she realizes “how personal they are.”

About Rita Rogers: Rita Rogers grew up in New York City and has lived in the historic section of Newport, Rhode Island known as “The Point” for over 25 years. She studied art at the Art Students League in NYC and the Yale University Norfolk School of Art, amongst others. Rogers also studied Contemporary Literature at Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Ossabaw Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation and others. Rogers’ prints and paintings have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Newport Art Museum, Brown University – Sarah Doyle Gallery, Stonehill College, Wheeler Gallery and Gallery One in Providence, and many other institutions and galleries in New England. Rogers also works as a restorer of fine art.

About the Newport Art Museum: The Newport Art Museum’s collections and exhibitions focus on the visual artists of Newport and southeastern New England, reflecting both the rich heritage of the past and the lively art scene of the present. The Museum also offers art classes and camps, concerts, talks, trips, and special events throughout the year. The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums and receives support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. The Newport Art Museum is situated in Newport’s Old Quarter at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. Admission: $10 adults; $8 seniors; $6 Military and students with valid ID; Museum members and children under 5: no charge. By donation Saturday from 10 am to noon. Memorial Day through Labor Day Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Sun 12 – 5 pm. To learn more visit or call (401) 848-8200.

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Gayle P. Hargreaves
Communications and Development Consultant
121 Foxboro Avenue
Portsmouth, RI 02871
(401)338-8563 or (401)683-3951