Welcome to Our Online Exhibition of Paintings from Rodney Derrick’s International Art Collection

Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction

Produced by Cynthia DuVal and New Intelligentsia Atelier
Opening March 6, 2017

Rodney Derrick

Rodney Derrick American Art Collector

Exhibition Notes

Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction is my online art exhibition of paintings from Rodney Derrick’s international collection of contemporary expressionist and surrealist art.

I’m pleased to introduce you to my friend and art collector Rodney Derrick and his life’s work. An esoteric American art collector and world traveler, Rodney Derrick has been investing his heart and soul into collecting contemporary art for the past 36 years. In this exhibition we show 19 of the more than 200 paintings in his collection. The exhibition includes paintings by Saul Kaminer, Liliam Cuenca, Jia Min Zhou (Miso Zo), Pierre Mathieu, Grimanesa Amoros, Charles Stokes, Faridun Negmat-Zoda, Terry Rosenberg, Helen Brough, Mario Murua, Alberto Jorge Carol and Cynthia DuVal. You may also peruse 15 paintings from Rodney’s art collection in our online shop. The sale includes paintings by Mario Murua, Alberto Jorge Carol and myself.

In his introductory remarks below Mr. Derrick writes about how his art collecting journey began and flourished in parallel with his work as a professional union organizer. As part of his job, he lived in many different places in the United States. As he settled to work in these new places he sought out artists, began collecting their work and made lifelong friends. My family, art and career benefited from his patronage and friendship since he first visited my open studio event in Emeryville, California in 1988.

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with Rodney while creating his online exhibition and sale. He pitched in and worked hard to give me what I needed to get the job done. It was only as we put the project together that I saw and studied his art collection in it’s entirety for the first time. My life is enriched by the experience. As you will see from his exhibit, Rodney’s collection includes gems of contemporary art. When you visit his website you’ll see many paintings you’ve never seen before and learn about contemporary painters you may not yet know about. Therein lies my passion for producing New Intelligentsia Atelier. In this day and age all of us with a high-speed internet connection have the world of international art and culture at our fingertips. It is my job to find and curate art and design and manage exhibitions and sales and share them with a ever growing audience.

Rodney is currently working on his memoir. We can all look forward to a memoir that weaves stories of passionate and courageous artists and art collecting, artistic creation and friendships and political history, oppression, and escape.

It is my dearest wish that  Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction will generate the audience and financial support Rodney needs to share his life’s work with us and future generations.

Cynthia DuVal, Artist and Exhibition Producer | Contact me

Portrait of American Art Collector Rodney Derrick by Andrei Sorokin

Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction – written by Rodney Derrick

Here’s how my art collecting journey began. Between 1981 and 1999 I worked as a professional union organizer in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, California, New York, Nebraska, Indiana, Florida, North Carolina and Washington, DC. It was in 1981 that I met and became friends with Charles Stokes, one of the premiere Pacific Northwest artists. This was in Seattle. Charles was painting and teaching at Cornish College of the Arts at the time. I was living in Portland and traveling to Seattle to organize the non-teaching employees of Seattle Community College for AFSCME. My girlfriend at the time had purchased a painting from Stokes. She introduced me to him. It was then that I began the art collecting journey that would take me around the world and into the next phase of my life’s work.

I consigned Charles to paint me a picture for which I paid him $100 a month. It took a little over a year for him to complete the picture that eventually became “Pavillon”.  We visited often that year and became friends. Charles and most people knowledgeable about his work recognize “Pavillon” to be a transition painting for the artist. It has been my secret pleasure to have played a small role in bringing this painting to life. Charles passed away several years ago; when he died we lost an American master artist and I lost a cherished friend.

After the experience I had learning about, befriending and buying art from Charles Stokes, I made the decision to try and meet artists wherever I traveled for work or pleasure. On a few occasions, it was my privilege to be instrumental in assisting artists through difficult times through my patronage. I wasn’t a wealthy man so I sometimes paid for artworks over time as I did with Stokes. I sometimes bought a group of paintings to help artists in need. Too often, perhaps, I borrowed from credit lines to make these purchases. Art collecting became my passion and splendid addiction. Owning an original painting by an artist who has delved deeply into their own subconscious stream to express themselves is a wealth beyond comprehension. Contributing to the process of creation, as a collector, has been, for me, the essential and addictive component of collecting.

In 1990, I saw the 2000 years of Mexican Art exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and became interested in Latin American art. I already enjoyed the magical realism of Latin American authors and felt a natural connection to the Latin American painters. I was inspired by the work of the great artist Rufino Tamayo. He had broken with the political dogma of his contemporaries Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco. I was (and remain) a voracious reader and I read everything I could find to learn more about Latin American Art.

I used my vacation days to attend Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions to further educate myself on art and the ways of the art world. I made connections with artists from Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Peru. Most of these artists had escaped totalitarianism, irrespective of its source (left, right, or religious culture). Later, I found and collected from other international artists who opposed dogmatism. These artists escaped death lists in Pinochet’s Chile, Fidel’s Cuba, Tiananmen in China, Islamic extremism in Tajikistan and government control of religious practices in the former Soviet Union.

I enjoy sharing stories about my art collecting journey and the artists and arts professionals I’ve met over the years. It has been an honor for me that several paintings from my collection have been shown in major museums and galleries. I live amongst my collection in my loft in Durham, North Carolina, where I am writing my memoir and enjoying the lively art scene around Duke University.

People often ask about buying art from my collection and I seldom agree. However, as I’ve grown older I am more inclined to share the joy of owning these pictures with other art patrons. To this end I have 15 paintings for sale in the shop here on New Intelligentsia Atelier. If you like the exhibition and sale I hope you will share them and maker offers on the paintings we have for sale.  To see and learn more about my art collection, I invite you to visit my website and contact me. Ciao!

Rodney Derrick, Art Collector | February 27, 2017


Jesus (Chucho) Reyes The Opera Singer |  mixed media on China paper 38 x 28 inches

Chucho was born in 1880 and died in 1977. His career transcended various art movements including surrealism. While growing up in Mexico, his father tied roosters to each corner of his bed to teach him discipline and painted a large eye on the ceiling above his bed! When Marc Chagall and Chucho worked on a play together in Mexico in the early 40s, Chagall said, “I am the Russian Chucho, and Chucho you are the Mexican Chagall.” Rodney purchased The Opera Singer from a gallery on the Big Island of Hawaii. The painting had been part of Chucho’s private collection which he left to his nephew David. Rodney visited David in Chucho’s home museum in 2000.

The Opera Singer painting by artist Jesus Chucho Reyes
Charles Stokes “Pavillon”
Charles Stokes Pavillon | mixed media 43 x 34 inches

In Rodney’s introductory remarks for the exhibition he tells the story that the picture he commissioned from Stokes was the beginning of his art collecting journey.  Artist and collector became friends and Rodney visited Charles and his wife at their loft on Wooster Street whenever he visited New York City.

Flowering Trees is a surrealist painting by artist Saul Kaminer
Saul Kaminer Arbol Florido | Flowering Trees, 1991, 51 x 38 inches, oil on canvas

One of Saul’s motivations for creating this painting was to make a statement against the Iraq War. Arbol Florida (Flowering Trees) has been exhibited in three major international museums. Kaminer along with Mario Murua and several other Latin American artists founded the group “Magie Imagen” in Paris. Kaminer is a prolific artist who lives part of the year in Mexico and part of the year in Paris.

Liliam Cuenca Landscape | oil on canvas 44 x 74 inches

While living In Cuba, Liliam refused to join the Communist Party and suffered abuse and discrimination as a result. She escaped from Cuba, in the early 1980s during the Mariel boat lift. Rodney was introduced to Liliam by Cuban artist Alberto Carol in Miami.

Landscape is an abstract landscape painting by Liliam Cuenca
Here comes spring is an acrylic on canvas painting by artist Alberto Jorge Carol
Alberto Jorge Carol Here Comes Spring | acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 inches

Alberto painted Here Comes the Spring shortly before he married his wife who is a well known Professor of Latin American Studies and Literature at the University of Miami. Alberto was born in Havana on June 20, 1945. He studied at the National School of Art, graduating in 1968 with a major in Painting. He was Professor of Perception at the School of Industrial Design (1971) and was National Advisor to the Ministry of Culture for the Plastic Arts. He rejected the post and was expelled from UNEAC because of his political dissent.

Exception Rule is an oil on canvas painting by artist Terry Rosenberg
Terry Rosenberg Exception Rule | oil on canvas 110 x 79 inches

Terry Rosenberg was the Bemis Artist in Residence when Rodney met him in Omaha, Nebraska in the summer of 1996.  They met in a French bakery on the first floor of the building where Rodney lived. Terry lives in SoHo in New York. He has been described by Richard Kendall, the leading expert in the world on Degas, as the foremost painter of movement in the world today.

Alberto Jorge Carol Opresión | acrylic on paper, 19 x 14 inches

Alberto painted “Opresión” when he was going into exile from Cuba, first to Spain and then to Miami.

Opresion is a painting by artist Alberto Jorge Carol
Struggling for Love is an acrylic on canvas painting by Grimanesa Amoros
Grimanesa Amoros Struggling for Love | acrylic on canvas and mixed media 80 x 68 inches

Rodney met Grimanesa Amoros in the late 90s in Tribeca where she lives. The New York Times called her one of the four most influential cultural figures in Tribeca. She has numerous museum exhibits every year all over the world.

Springing from the Rock
Cynthia DuVal Springing from the Rock | oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Rodney commissioned a painting from me to enable me to care for my four-year old Arabian mare during a financially challenging time. That painting became Springing from the Rock. In it Abby is leaping into the air untethered in a chaotic and dangerous environment. Rodney helped me keep her with me by buying several of my paintings over the years.

Zhou Ling The White Horse | artist’s proof, serigraph on rice paper, 41 x 41 inches
Rodney bought the The White Horse from Zhou Ling when he recognized the anti-dogmatism sentiment to her work and the oppression she felt and escaped from. He recently told me that in the story of The White Horse, Zhou Ling mentioned the girl in the picture made her own wedding dress. The painting also reminded Rodney of the fabrics and clothing I was designing at the time we met in 1988 and also of my love for my horse Abby. He was intrigued by the sense of connection he felt. I could not be more pleased to learn this and to show Springing from the Rock along with The White Horse. I absolutely love The White Horse by Zhou Ling.
The White Horse is a serigraph on rice paper by artist Zhou Link
Liu Jian "Memories of Old Shanghai”
Liu Jian Memories of Old Shanghai | acrylic on canvas 36 x 30 inches

Rodney met Jian in Toronto in 1998. The artist had escaped China after 1989 and Tiananmen. Jian’s parents had joined the Communist Party in 1943 and were imprisoned for many years by Mao. Jian was born in 1960 in the labor camp about 60 miles from Shanghai where his parents were imprisoned. Rodney spent October 2003 traveling in China with Jian and visited his parents who had had recently retired from high-level positions in the government.

Faridun Negmat-Zoda "The Prophet”
Faridun Negmat-Zoda The Prophet | oil on canvas, 36 x 32 inches

Rodney met Faridun in Lincoln, Nebraska in early 1996. The artist had escaped Tajikistan and the bitter war between the Russian and Muslim populations there. In the painting The Prophet, Feridun doesn’t show us the face of the prophet as that would be considered “blasphemy” in Islam.

Cynthia DuVal Woman on Fire | acrylic on canvas, 25.5 x 41 inches

Woman on Fire is a picture I painted when I was a young artist exploring my talent and my fears. I grew up watching my mother teach herself to paint and she recognized early on that I had some talent for art. I remember working hard on art projects with my sister when I was a girl. I went on to study psychology in college at the University of Oregon and was introduced to experimental film, photography, dance and literature through my friends.  It was after graduating from U of O that I moved to California and became consumed with passion for painting and the theater arts. Thank goodness I had friends like Rodney and many others who helped me eat and keep a roof over my head in those early years.  When I painted Woman on Fire my style of painting was improvisational and almost mindless, coming instead from a physical desire to express something I didn’t have words to communicate. It was in the improvisational painting process that my unconscious desires and psychological states were revealed to me.  Rodney sees Woman on Fire as more symbolic of women in general than I did at the time.

Cynthia DuVal "Woman on Fire" | acrylic on canvas, 25.5 x 41 inches
Evanescence is an oil on canvas painting by Jia Min Zhou (Miso Zo)
Jia Min Zhou (Miso Zo) Evanescence | oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Rodney was introduced to Miso Zo in Harlem in NY by Terry Rosenberg where Miso had his studio at the time. He escaped from China after Tiananmen in 1989. He now lives all over the world.

Tranquility is an oil on canvas painting painting by Jia Min Zhou (Miso Zo)
Jia Min Zhou (Miso Zo) Tranquility | oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Miso Zo created the English titles for the two pictures shown here.  They are also titled in Chinese calligraphy. The ideas of the two paintings can best be described as reflecting the TAO.

Pierre Mathieu | Street Art, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches.
Street Art a painting by PIerre Mathieu
Reveille is an oil on canvas painting by Helen Brough
Helen Brough “Reveille” | oil on canvas, 36 x 30 iches

Terry Rosenberg introduced Rodney to Helen Brough in Omaha, Nebraska in 1996. This painting was inspired by a poem written by Primo Levi describing the experience of being awakened at the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Nazis. Levi, the Italian physicist and resistance fighter, survived the camp and later wrote the most famous personal descriptions of that horrid experience.  The artist currently lives and works in London.

Contra Juana la Cubana is an oil on canvas painting by Ciro Quintana La Traición
Ciro Quintana “La Traición Contra Juana la Cubana” | oil on canvas 18 x 24 inches

Prior to his escape from Cuba in the 1990s, Ciro was a significant participant in the Cuban Pop Art Movement in Cuba. He studied art at the University with Alberto Carol. It was Alberto who introduced Rodney to Ciro in Miami. Ciro’s paintings have considerable political and cultural symbolism.

Mario Murua Bella Tipica 2 |  diptych, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 58 inches (size includes both pictures)

Rodney spent time with Mario in New York and in Chile on several occasions. Mario escaped Pinochet in the early 70s and several years later went to Paris where he and Saul Kaminer, along with several other Latin American artists, founded the group “Magie Imagen”.



Bella Tipica 2 is part 2 of a diptych painted by artist Mario Murua

Thank you for visiting and sharing Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction with your friends, family and colleagues.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Art Collecting as a Passion and Splendid Addiction and that come back often to see up-coming exhibitions and art sales. I am currently planning exhibitions and sales around three themes, contemporary dissident art, experimental film and iconic scientific images.  Cynthia DuVal | Artist and Producer at New Intelligentsia Atelier | Contact me

A photograph of art collector Rodney Derrick entertaining at his loft in Durham, North Carolina

In this picture Rodney is entertaining and lecturing to Caribbean Culture students from Duke University in his loft in Durham, North Carolina. The topic of the lecture was Latin American and Caribbean Art.

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