P·P·O·W is pleased to present Bloomfield, our fourth exhibition with artist Jessica Rohrer. This exhibition continues Rohrer’s decade long project of depicting the homes and neighborhoods in which she has lived; from Wisconsin to Brooklyn to New Jersey. Bloomfield is comprised of twenty three new paintings and seventeen works on paper of interior settings, street scenes and garden views of her domestic suburban life derived from her immediate surroundings. Each exhibition, or chapter of her life, reflects her journey as she travels a road familiar to many. Rohrer tells a tale that is at first glance a picture book story of domesticity but upon closer look is ridden with a palpable sense of heightened anxiety.
Rohrer’s stylistic approach combines elements of traditional miniature paintings with photorealism. Her obsessive freehand rendering, seemingly photographic but hand painted from life and self-taken photographs, allude to the works of Jan van Eyck, Vermeer and other old masters whose technique challenge our credulity. The compositions of each painting also hint at more contemporary artists such as Thomas Demand and Jeff Wall, whose photographic re-enactments are realistic but disturbing in their “slightly off” feeling. Pop artists are also brought to mind in relation to Rohrer’s depiction of mundane and branded objects; stacks of books, toys, shelves of spices, craft boxes, cabinet doors and potted plants. Rohrer weaves through art history while accomplishing her seemingly humble biographical project.
Carefully manipulating each scene by emptying them of figures and detritus, Rohrer creates a sense of sanitized orderliness. Odd perspectives and tight cropping add to the anxious and ominous tone. Her precisely staged and meticulously painted vignettes balance that which is omitted and that which is rendered in painstaking detail. In this exhibit Rohrer ventures further afield than her own home, giving a glimpse of rooftops and neighbors’ yards which seem eerily similar to her own.
Jessica Rohrer (b. 1974) in Wisconsin. She graduated from Northwestern University (1996) and the Art Institute of Chicago (1999) and received her M.F.A. in painting from the Yale University School of Art (2001). She has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in the United States. She lives in New Jersey, with her husband and two young daughters.