William Curtis Rolf

William Curtis Rolf

Profile | Statement | Biography


William Curtis Rolf • Profile

William’s life-long affection for European life styles of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries bring a sense of elegance and gentility to his imagery. His photographic sensibility is sought after by collectors, designers and art directors throughout the globe. His fine art prints as well as his books are in the private collections of individuals whose own homes and offices reflect that same interest and affection.

After earning a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA, then graduating first in his class from Art Center College of Design in photography, he started shooting ads for a number of Fortune 500 clients. But it was during his stint as Creative Director of Photography at E&J Gallo Winery that he developed many of his complex photo production skills.

Since 1997 William has been focusing his efforts on fine art photography projects and related books.


William Curtis Rolf • Statement

I cannot remember a moment in my lifetime when I was not interested in art. Inspired by my parents’ rather vast book collection, at an early age I took up an interest in illustrated books on the subject of art, and architecture. A court painting of Louis XIV interested me so I turned to it frequently. I was captivated by his stunning palace at Versailles and could not wait to visit it; I would have to wait twenty years. My father and mother started taking me to museums when I was four or five.

Soon after I graduated from UCLA, well-armed with information gleaned from all my art history courses, I took the first of what would be many trips to Europe loaded with cameras. Because my travel companions and I literally ran into our UCLA Renaissance History professor in Florence, we had the world’s best guide to that city; we later joined him in Venice. I made thousands of photographic compositions of the art and architecture around Europe on that first trip and decided that I wanted to quit the profession I was in and go back to school to study photography.

My point of view as an artist is: study painting, architecture and all forms of art. Make yourself visually literate. Master the technicalities of your genre. Know what constitutes captivating composition and dramatic lighting. Know the work of artists who have gone before you but never copy. Take your knowledge and taste and be original.


William Curtis Rolf • Biography

EDUCATION

1974    
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, Art Center College of Design, California

1967    
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, UCLA, California

ARTS-RELATED EXPERIENCE

1983-2005     
Creative Director of Photography, E and J Gallo Winery, Modesto, California

1974-1983      
Studio and location advertising photographer, Los Angeles, California

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2015
"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

"Lookie Here", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2014
“Annual Fall Celebration”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“Hop Skip & a Jump”, LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan

2013   
Ken Fulk Gallery, San Francisco, California

The Battery, 717 Battery Street, San Francisco, California

1998- 2013
     
Ralph Lauren Retail Stores, Exhibitions throughout the US, Europe and Asia

2012   
Voila! Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2009   
Voila! Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2008   
Farmani Gallery, Los Angeles, California

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Deutche Bank

Ralph Lauren

HSBC Bank

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2005
Les Ecuries Des Chateaux Français,
Photography by William Curtis Rolf

2004
The British Stable (Studies in British Art)
, Photography by William Curtis Rolf