Roger Welch American, 1946-2022

I see memory as a sculpture created when the totality of an experience is partially forgotten as if carved away.
- Roger Welch

American Conceptual artist Roger Welch (b. 1946) is known for his multidimensional practice in Installation, Video, and Narrative Art.


From the beginning of his career in 1970 as a performance artist, Welch has explored the theme of memory across past, present, and future time as it relates to identity, recollection, and personal experience. His idea of “memory as sculpture” led him to focus on a complex conceptual framework, presenting the mind as an excavation of artworks. As Welch moved away from performance into photo, video, and works on paper, he maintained the importance of narrative throughout his life’s work creating a discourse on the importance of memory as an artistic medium. When Welch moved to New York City in 1970, he co-founded the Narrative Art movement alongside John Baldessari, William Wegman, and others.


Welch is best known for his works Memory Maps (1973), Niagara Falls (1974), O.J. Simpson Project (1977), and Drive In: Second Feature (1982). He holds his BFA from Miami University in Oxford, OH, his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.

Welch has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous, global institutions including 112 Greene Street, NY, NY (1971), Sonnabend Gallery, New York, NY (1972), John Gibson Gallery, New York, NY (1973), Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, WI (1974), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (1977), Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico (1980), P.S.1 Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island City, NY (1980), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (1982), and many more. He has participated in group shows in documenta Kassel (1972), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1974), Galerie Daniel Templon (1976), Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX (1978), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (1980), New Museum (1981), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (1987), among others. In addition to his rich exhibition history, Welch has also been the recipient of awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, C.A.P.S. (1973, 1976) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1974, 1980).