Artist Biography

Matthew Rolston is an artist who works in photography and video; his practice centers on portraiture, most notably subjects drawn from celebrity culture. Rolston studied drawing and painting in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Art Institute and Otis College of Art & Design, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute; he also studied illustration, photography, imaging and film at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where in 2006, he received an Honorary Doctorate. While still a student at Art Center, Rolston was 'discovered' by Andy Warhol, who immediately commissioned portraits for Interview magazine. Thus began an extraordinary career; and for the next 25 years, Matthew Rolston’s photographs have been published in Interview, Vogue, W, Harper's Bazaar, and over 100 covers of Rolling Stone.

Matthew Rolston

Along with his friend Herb Ritts, Rolston was a member of an influential group of photographers (among them, Bruce Weber, Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel) to emerge from the 1980's magazine scene. Rolston's early photographs from this era are notable for their distinctive and glamorous lighting style, surrealistic tableaus, and detail-rich sets. His imagery has helped define contemporary aesthetics of American portrait photography and truly embodies modern glamour.


Robert Sobieszek, the former Curator of Photography for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), compared Rolston's work to the "four mega-greats of the '50s and '60s: Avedon, Hiro, Penn and Skrebneski... I think Rolston is one of the foremost editorial, glamour/fashion photographers working today," he said, "giving us immensely sophisticated, exciting, glamorous shots and portraits that surround us daily."

 

 

MATTHEW ROLSTON (USA, b. 1955)

 

Education

2006 Honorary Doctorate, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

1989 Film Program, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

1978 Photography & Imaging, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

1976 Drawing & Painting, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA

1975 Drawing & Painting, Otis College of Art & Design, Los Angeles, CA

1974 Drawing & Painting, Chouinard Art Institute, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018 Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC

2018 Hollywood Royale: Out of the School of Los Angeles, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Art People: The Pageant Portraits, Ralph Pucci LA, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Hollywood Royale: Out of the School of Los Angeles, Camera Work Photogalerie, Berlin, Germany

2016 Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, Camera Work Contemporary Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2014 Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits, Diane Rosenstein Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA 

1993 Big Pictures, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL

1991 Big Pictures, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York, NY

1991 Big Pictures, Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1991 Big Pictures, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1987 Matthew Rolston: Magazine Work, Photographs, Govinda Gallery, Washington, D.C

1982 Matthew Rolston, Portraits, Jennifer Dumas Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1982 New Hollywood Portraiture, FOTO Gallery, New York, NY

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014 Joan Quinn Captured, Brand Art Center, Glendale, CA

2013 Joan, Joan, Joan, The Vi Smith Concourse Gallery at John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, CA

2013 Through the Lens of the Blues Aesthetic: An Evening of Short Films Selected by Kevin Everson, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2013 The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, SF Shorts: The San Francisco International Festival of Short Films, San Francisco, CA

2011 Mysterious Objects: Portraits of Joan Quinn, Santa Ann College Main Gallery, Santa Ana, CA

2011 Beauty CULTure, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA

2000 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

1999 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

1998 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, Musée de la Mode, Marseilles, France

1997 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, The Barbican Art Gallery, London, England

1997 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, The Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

1997 The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1989 New Nudes, Govinda Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1988 Fashion and Surrealism, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

1987 Fashion and Surrealism, FIT Gallery, New York, NY

1987 New Nudes, G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1985 Working In L.A. (with Herb Ritts and Greg Gorman), G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1984 Modern Masters (with Jean Pagliuso, Kim Steele, and Bruce Weber), Delahunty Gallery, Dallas, TX

1984 Modern Masters (with Jean Pagliuso, Kim Steele, and Bruce Weber), Hokin Kauffman Gallery, Chicago, IL

 

Selected Publications

2017 Hollywood Royale: Out of the School of Los Angeles (Kempen, Germany, teNeues)

2012 Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits (New York, USA, Pointed Leaf Press)

2008 beautyLIGHT: Pictures at a Magazine (Kempen, Germany, teNeues)

1991 Big Pictures: A Book of Photographs (New York, USA, Bulfinch Press)

 

Selected Public Collections

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

National Portrait Gallery, The Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D.C.

 

Selected Talks and Lectures

2018 In Conversation- Looking Back: Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, with KCRW's Frances Anderton, NeueHouse, Hollywood, CA

2018 Art People: A Conversation, with cultural critic Katya Tylevich, Ralph Pucci LA, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Photographic Arts Council of Los Angeles Artist Gallery TalkHollywood Royale, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2018 In Conversation: Matthew Rolston's Hollywood Royale, with New Yorker Magazine contributing writer Christina Binkley, SoHo House West Hollywood, CA

2018 Hollywood Royale: Artist Talk with Matthew Rolston, with gallerist Ute Hartjen, The Battery Club, San Francisco, CA

2018 Iris Night Lecture Series: Hollywood Royale, with Vanity Fair contributing editor Matt Tyrnauer, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA

2018 Glamour, Berlin, and Hollywood: Matthew Rolston, with Lee Kaplan, founder of Arcana Books on the Arts, Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, CA

2018 Hollywood Royale by Matthew Rolston, with Lee Kaplan, founder of Arcana Books on the Arts, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

2018 In Conversation: Matthew Rolston's Hollywood Royale, with Wolfsonian curator Cathy Leff, SoHo Beach House, Miami, FL

2018 In Conversation: Matthew Rolston's Hollywood Royale, with author and Warhol collaborator Pat Hackett, SoHo House New York, NY

2017 In Conversation: Matthew Rolston's Hollywood Royale, with cultural critic Nadia Says, SoHo House Berlin, Germany

2014 The Rise of the Fashion Film, with New Yorker Magazine contributing writer Christina Binkley, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA

2011 Iris Night Lecture Series: Matthew Rolston on "Beauty CULTure", with journalist Merle Ginsberg, The Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA

2009 beautyLIGHT by Matthew Rolston, with journalist Merle Ginsberg, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA