The Castle of Perseverance, 1978, Particleboard Installation, 800 square feet, Collection of the Artist (detail)

Over the years Roland Reiss has made a remarkable contribution to the rich and constantly growing heritage of contemporary art in Southern California as one of a handful of artists whose work successfully extends beyond the studio into the academic realm. Only John Baldessari at CalArts has been as widely influential as Roland Reiss at Claremont University. Retired from teaching, Roland is now an Emeritus Professor of the Art Department. - Peter Clothier

from a solo show at the Pasadena Museum of Art


ROLAND REISS Personal Politics: Sculpture from the 1970's and 1980's

September 18, 2011, through January 8, 2012


Adventures in the Painted Desert: A Murder Mystery, 1975, 12 x 48 x 48 in.
Collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art; Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Edward J. Gallagher, Jr. Memorial Fund


A painter, educator, and Southern California art world fixture since the 1950s, Roland Reiss suddenly turned to sculpture in the 1960s, creating miniature versions of domestic spaces encased within Plexiglas that he called tableaus. Guest-curated by Kate Johnson, Personal Politics focuses on these miniature scenes, each containing psychological references and occasionally reflecting influences from Hollywood and the film industry. Through his tiny worlds, Reiss examines our society's semiotics, or codified signifiers of hidden meaning. In addition to the tableaus, Reiss' most immersive work ever created, The Castle of Perseverance, will also be on view. Made entirely of MDF particle-board, the life-size mock living room includes sofas, lamps, a coffee table, a bar, a TV dinner, toys, cigarettes, an aquarium, and much more. - PMCA


The Dancing Lessons: Temporal Power and Mental Blocks, 1978, 12 x 24 x 24 in. Private Collection


Easy Turns, Happy Trails: A Murder Mystery, 1975, 13 x 33 x 31 3/4 in., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Gift of Ian Davidson, 91.4 (detail)

Adult Fairy Tales I: Migration of Thought, 1983, 12 x 24 x 24 in., Collection of The Capital Group Companies, Inc.