Otto Rogers remains one of Canada’s foremost modern painters and sculptors. Born in rural Saskatchewan in 1935, Rogers attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1954 to 1959. Later, he taught at the University of Saskatchewan from 1959-1988. In 1955 he obtained a scholarship from the Saskatchewan Arts Board that allowed him to attend the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshop led by Jack Shadbolt. He also co-organized the revival of the workshops at Emma Lake in the late 70’s and early 80s.
Rogers’ style of art is inspired by the Cubist-Constructivist tradition led by Pablo Picasso. He is known for his colour-field paintings and assembled steel sculptures. In Abstract Art in Canada, Roald Nasgaard argues that “the spirit of Roger’s art is so deeply embedded in the prairie landscape that their place in the history of modern art has become inseparably fused with their sense of place” (219). Renowned American art critic Clement Greenberg deemed Rodgers “an artist of amazing talent, worthy of an international reputation.” His work is represented in many galleries across Canada and internationally, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada.