Images & Videos

Settlement: Toward Red, 1981

oil on linen

72 x 72 inches

Settlement: Blue, 1981

oil on linen

66 x 66 inches

Settlement: Green to Violet, 1981

oil on linen

60 x 60 inches

Settlement: Magenta, 1980

oil on linen

72 x 72 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Small White Drift, 1978
oil on linen
14 x 14 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

From Black 3, 1979
oil on linen
60 x 60 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Dream Green, 1982
oil on canvas
60 x 60 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Mauve Shift, 1977
oil on linen
72 x 72 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Promise, 1986
oil on linen
24 x 24 inches

The Phillips Collection

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Amish, 1983
oil on linen
14 x 14 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Passage 3, 1982
oil on linen
60 x 60 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Deluge, 1983
oil on linen
66 x 66 inches
The Phillips Collection

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Recollection, 1983
oil on linen
60 x 60 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Edge of Red, 1983
oil on linen
60 x 60 inches

Warren Rohrer Locks Gallery

Matrix I, 1985
oil on linen
52 1/2 x 52 1/2 inches

Artist Bio

Warren Rohrer (1927–1995) was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and became one of Philadelphia’s leading abstract painters in the late 20th century. Coming from a Lancaster Mennonite upbringing, he strayed from conventional professional paths of becoming a farmer or minister when he began to pursue art and art education. Rohrer quickly embedded himself in the national contemporary art scene and would go on to teach for 25 years at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts).

Through the 1960s and '70s, Rohrer worked out of a converted barn in Christiana, Pennsylvania, using the landscape of his youth as his primary subject as he approached total abstraction in his work and began working exclusively with square canvases. These abstractions were rooted in a deep sense of place, with a unique connection between the agricultural fields around him and his exploration of modernist painting and color fields. Many 1970s works are notable for their study of the organization of space through regular and irregular grids and repetitive mark-making. Towards the 1980s these works would transition into increasingly layered and luminous explorations of color.

In 1984, Rohrer moved his studio to the former workspace of acclaimed muralist Violet Oakley in Chestnut Hill. While teaching in Philadelphia and exhibiting extensively, the artist maintained weekly trips to Lancaster to photograph and make studies. Of particular interest was a field at the source of the Conestoga River, a place where nine generations previously, his Mennonite ancestors had originally settled. His later work explored a language of forms found in this landscape, with a deeply personal and gestural script embedded within his abstractions.

The subject of a retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2003, Warren Rohrer's work is now in many museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Denver Art Museum, Smith College Museum of Art and the Delaware Art Museum. Locks Gallery has represented the artist and his estate since 1974.

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