Cover image for Field Language: The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer Edited by Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Christopher Reed, and Joyce Henri Robinson

Field Language

The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer

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

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$39.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-911209-74-7

248 pages
8.25" × 10.75"
128 color illustrations
2020
Distributed by Penn State University Press for the Palmer Museum of Art

Field Language

The Painting and Poetry of Warren and Jane Rohrer

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

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.

 

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  • Bio
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.

The artists, poets, and historians contributing to this volume present a variety of perspectives on the Rohrers, situating their work within the context of modernism, the changing agricultural landscapes of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the aestheticization of local craft practices. Through the work of these two highly original and creative artists, Field Language invites readers to consider relationships between global art movements and local visual cultures, 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.

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.

Julia Spicher Kasdorf is Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University. She is the author of The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life. Essays and Poems and coauthor of Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields, both published by Penn State University Press.

Christopher Reed is an art historian and Distinguished Professor of English and Visual Culture at Penn State University. He has taught and published on a wide variety of topics at the intersection of art and literature from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. His previous curatorial collaborations were the exhibitions A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections; Forging Alliances; and JapanAmerica: Points of Contact, 18761970.

Joyce Henri Robinson is Assistant Director at the Palmer Museum of Art and Affiliate Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Penn State University. She has authored catalogues and curated numerous exhibitions in the fields of contemporary art, twentieth-century American art, and photography.