Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer

September 23, 2020

A sumptuously illustrated catalog including poems, paintings, and essays by scholars and artists.

Edited by Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Christiopher Reed, and Joyce Henri Robinson

Warren Rohrer is likely the most well-known American abstract painter to have come out of a Mennonite backgroound. For many years, he and his wife, the poet Jane Turner Rohrer, lived on a farm in Christiana, PA where Warren had a painting studio in the barn. Later they moved to Mount Airy, PA, a historic neighborhood outside of Philadelphia, where they lived in the studio of the "Red Rose Sisters." In both places the couple made art, wrote poems, and lived a life devoted to the arts and their family.

Jane's latest book of poems, Acquiring Land, has just been published in the Dreamseeker Poetry series.

Field Language presents the work of an extraordinary couple who together left the rural lifeways of their Mennonite upbringing to go “into the world” to create forms of modern art that reflected on the places and culture they came from. Published on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition devoted to the working relationship between abstract painter Warren Rohrer and his wife, poet Jane Turner Rohrer, this sumptuously illustrated book explores the Rohrers’ painting and poetry in relation to their biographies and to the nature of modernism and modernity. (From the publisher's web site)

Two exhibits of Warren's paintings, in company with Jane's poems, are forthcoming:

"Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer" at the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State, opening in January 2021.


"Hearing the Brush," a complementary exhibit at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, most likely in January 2021.

Curated with an eye to the textures of cultural and artistic collaboration, Field Language was edited by Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Christopher Reed, and Joyce Henri Robinson. In addition to the editors, the contributors include Christopher Campbell, Steven Z. Levine, Nancy Locke, Sally McMurry, Janneken Smucker, William R. Valerio, Jonathan Frederick Walz, and Douglas Witmer.

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