By Susan Rosenberg2002
40 color plates, 41 black-and-white reproductions
10 x 10"
Profoundly influenced by the light and landscape of his native Lancaster County, Warren Rohrer was one of Pennsylvania’s most respected and admired painters. Raised in the Mennonite farming community, he returned to live there as a painter in 1960. Although for ten years he was inspired by the outward appearance of the landscape, in the 1970s he adopted the grid as the basis for a new response to nature focused on conveying its essence. Adopting systematic methods favored by contemporary minimalist artists, he invented remarkable new techniques for imbuing paintings with inner luminosity. Even after leaving Lancaster in 1984, he returned regularly to record the marks and signs of the landscape, the foundation for an ongoing exploration, through abstract painting, of a deeply rooted concern with identity and place.
This book accompanies the Museum’s first presentation of Warren Rohrer’s work from 1972 to 1993. An essay by Susan Rosenberg, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, discusses the artist’s formative years, traces the development of his painting from the 1970s to the 1990s, and considers his work in relation to abstract artists and landscape painters past and present. Featuring thirty-two color illustrations of his paintings, the catalogue includes a selection of the artist’s writings—never before published—a fully illustrated chronology of the artist’s life, a complete exhibition history, and a selected bibliography.