John Roloff

Professor Emeritus

John Roloff is a visual artist with a background in science who works conceptually with site, process and natural systems, whose projects often take the form of large-scale environmental and gallery installations.  His work engages poetic and site-specific relationships between material, concept and performance in the domains of geology, ecology, architecture, ceramics, industry and mining, metabolic systems and history. Current research includes public projects in Oakland, CA, Minneapolis, MN and the Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA as well as exhibitions for the Denver Art Museum and Habitats at the Presidio, San Francisco, CA.  

Selected Exhibitions: 

  • Adventures of the Fire, The 5th World Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, Korea, 2009
  • The Seventh Climate (Paradise Reconsidered), I-5 Colonnade Project, Seattle, WA, 2006
  • The Snow Show, Kemi, Finland, 2004
  • Holocene Passage, “Intervening the Space, “Archivio Emily Harvey, “NEXT,” Venice Architectural Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2002

Selected Publications: 

  • Sculpture, Society and Environment, International Sculpture Center, 2010 Conference: What is Sculpture in the 21st Century, London, UK (public lecture and panel).
  • Ceramics: Geologic Lens-Systemic Practice, International Ceramic Symposium - Ceramics & Ecology Catalog, World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Icheon, Republic of Korea, 2009, pg 38-42.
  • Devonian Shale: Aquifer I, The NCECA Journal 2002 v. XXIII. NCECA, Erie, CO, 2003, pg. 38-40.


  • BA, University of California, Davis, 1970
  • MA, Cal State Humboldt, 1973
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