Rockne Krebs (b. 1938, Kansas City, MO; d. 2011, Washington, DC) received his BFA in Sculpture from the University of Kansas. He served in the Navy and moved to Washington. Once in DC, he was inspired by the stripes of Gene Davis, and the chevrons of Kenneth Noland. His first exhibitions at the Jefferson Place were of sculptures of plexiglass. In early 1969 he exhibited a sculpture of light, composed of a single laser beam, bouncing through the gallery of several strategically paced mirrors: a “Cat’s Cradle.” That first installation made him the father of laser art, “Sculpture Minus Object.”
In 1969 he partnered with Hewlett-Packard through an arrangement in the Art and Technology program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 1970 his work was included in the World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. In 1980 he created “The Source,” which shot parallel laser beams of argon and krypton from the Lincoln Memorial, across the Mall, where the beams split: directing one over the White House up 16th Street, and the other continued over the Capitol. His work received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1970, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1972.
1968—Sculpture, Feb. 10—March 8
1969—Energy Structures, Feb. 18—March 8
1971—March 30–April 17
1973—Sculpture, Sept. 28—Oct. 13
1968—Jefferson Place Ten Years, July 16–Aug. 7
1973—New Work, Sept. 6–22