Hearing the Brush explores the relationship of art and poetry in the works of Warren and Jane Rohrer. Husband and wife inspired each other with words and visual forms. Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Warren Rohrer (1927–1995) was one of Philadelphia’s leading abstract painters. His work is rooted in a deep sense of place and texture, whether the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania or the woods of the Wissahickon. Jane Rohrer (born 1928) grew up in Virginia. Her poetry is known for its observational qualities, a sense of sound, and a deeply felt emotional core. Her work has been published in the American Poetry Review, Parallels: Artists/Poets, and elsewhere.
Our more intimate presentation at Woodmere was organized in conversation with Penn State professors Julia Spicher Kasdorf and Christopher Reed as a companion to Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer, organized by Penn State's Palmer Museum of Art in State College.
On view at the Palmer from January 30 to April 25, 2020, Field Language examines the art of abstract painter Warren Rohrer as it evolved in conversation with his wife, poet Jane Rohrer. Both Rohrers left the rural lifeways of a Mennonite upbringing to go “into the world.” Featuring some fifty works, including paintings and works on paper, Amish quilts, and examples of Pennsylvania German painted crockery and furniture, Field Language invites us to consider issues of land use, the sustainability of rural communities and cultures, and our own relationships with agricultural landscapes, seasonal change, labor, and human need and desire.
Language and Land is a video created to accompany exhibitions at Woodmere Art Museum and Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, highlighting the painting and poetry of Jane and Warren Rohrer.
Watch the video here.