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.

Solo Exhibitions
1968—Sculpture, Feb. 10—March 8
1969—Energy Structures, Feb. 18—March 8
1971—March 30–April 17
1973—Sculpture, Sept. 28—Oct. 13

Group Exhibitions
1968—Jefferson Place Ten Years, July 16–Aug. 7
1973—New Work, Sept. 6–22

http://www.rocknekrebsart.com/

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Rockne Krebs with "Sculpture Minus Object," 1968
Image courtesy © Estate of Rockne Krebs

connected archival press clips

Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
February 18, 1968
The Washington Post
The newly expanded and redecorated Jefferson Place Gallery, 2144 P St. NW, is showing new plexiglass and aluminum sculptures by Rockne Krebs, a 29-year-old Washington artist. It’s an impressive show. At it’s best, Krebs’ work exhibits an intensity and restraint that is rare indeed.
Between 2-D and 3-D
Between 2-D and 3-D
October 5, 1973
The Washington Post
This show is full of drawings, and not just five or 10 or 30. There are 365 drawings here, all made with candle flame and smoke, hanging floor to ceiling, on a dozen walls.
Art: Jefferson Place
Art: Jefferson Place
March 3, 1968
The Sunday Star
Krebs talks of the viewer being “compelled to locate it (the object) and to define for himself the space it occupies.” This is definition of sculpture at a highly distilled level and this piece is a brilliant success in terms of its theory.
Between 2-D and 3-D
Between 2-D and 3-D
May 10, 1973
The Washington Post
Krebs’ work has always been so clean, his geometry so pure; but “Home” is not austere, it’s raggedy and funny. It is not made of laser beams, nor of sunlight, nor of polished plastic, those familiar Krebsian materials. It is made, instead, of an ancient windmill, wires, balls of steel wool, cotton, and bits of […]
Between 2-D and 3-D
Between 2-D and 3-D
May 10, 1973
The Washington Post
Having studied it for years, with increasing admiration, I thought I understood the art of Rockne Krebs. Then I saw his newest piece. It’s call “Home on the Range.” It will be on view through Oct. 13 in the third-floor gallery of the Jefferson Place, 2000 P St. NW, and it’s like nothing you have […]
Nesta Dorrance and the Jefferson Place Gallery
Nesta Dorrance and the Jefferson Place Gallery
September 21, 1969
The Washington Post
Krebs is interested in new materials and processes rather than the traditional media of metal and stone. He would like to make structures for the air.
Sculptor Takes Panes
Sculptor Takes Panes
February 23, 1968
The Washington Daily News
Rockne Krebs says he didn’t excel in geometry in school, but in his new show of sculpture at Jefferson Place he more than makes up for those early marks… A person who studies them admires the fragile beauty of the plastic, and the way their edges hod light in some places like a vessel and […]
Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
February 18, 1968
The Washington Post
The viewer can look both at them and through them; he can study the reflections and transparencies of the plastic and of the peculiarly dematerialized square-section aluminum channels, each of which carries strips of light-reflecting tape; he is always conscious of space, of the space the sculptures occupy and of the rooms they seem to […]
Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
Restraint Enhances Young Washington Artist’s Sculptures
February 18, 1968
The Washington Post
Much contemporary sculpture suffers from mindless elaboration, from a costume-jewelry fussiness that obscures and dissolves whatever might have been the artist’s original intention.
The Light Touch
The Light Touch
January 6, 1969
The Washington Post
Washington sculptor Rockne Krebs has had three shows at the Jefferson Place Gallery here. During the first two he sold only a single work – to Nesta Dorrance, the Gallery’s owner.