“Rohming Around: Untitled Works by Robert Rohm” is an exhibition composed of five totemic sculptures created by the sculptor, Robert Rohm. These totemic works are meant to serve as a stand-in for the human figure. The artist viewed the figure as a container or cage that held the spirit. He noted, “The origin of each piece is my attempt to make manifest my thoughts and visions generated by my inner life, my ongoing process of learning to quiet the mind and my struggle to achieve what can be referred to as the Buddhist ‘states of being’.” These modern, abstract sculptures were constructed using industrial materials such as steel, mesh, and encaustic paint.
-Mackenzie Nichols, ’17
Centre College Senior Art History Major
Read Mackenzie’s gallery talk to learn more about her curatorial vision.
Exhibition Curator, Mackenzie Nichols, ’17 invited viewers to ‘Rohm’ around and create individual unique experiences within the enclosures that surround each sculpture. These chapel-like gardens alluded to the sacred spaces that medieval churches marked out around their columns for altars in order to create a personal experience for the viewer. These sculptures were meant to inspire thoughtful engagement and be viewed from all angles. Guests were invited to ‘Rohm’ around and use the questions written on the chalkboards to spark their creativity when exploring the exhibition, and encouraged to write down your thoughts on the chalkboards arranged throughout the foyer. All of the sculptural pieces were gifts to Centre College from the Karp family, owners of New York’s O.K. Harris Gallery, which closed to the public in June 2014.
Rohm was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1934 and passed away on June 4th, 2013 in Charleston, Rhode Island. He attended Pratt Institute in New York, where he to received his Bachelor of Industrial Design in 1956; Rohm also earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1960 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Rohm’s work has been exhibited at museums and galleries both nationally and internationally, including The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, The Seattle Art Museum, The Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland and the O.K. Harris Gallery in SoHo. Rohm returned to Pratt Institute as a teacher before moving to Rhode Island after receiving a Guggenheim Grant in 1964. There, he settled in as a faculty member in the University of Rhode Island’s Art Department. Rohm loved to travel, and his experiences abroad often influenced his perspective on life –a perspective reflected in the work exhibited at the Norton Center.
April 2017 – June 2017
This exhibit was free and open to the public 9 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday, as well as by appointment and when the Norton Center is open for concerts and related activities.