Know the Artist
Jean-Daniel Rohrer was born in 1960 in Tramelan, Switzerland. He has lived and worked in Montreal since 1989, before which he graduated from the Centre Suisse de L’Information et de la Communication in Switzerland. As author and art critic, John K. Grande, articulately stated, “Jean-Daniel Rohrer’s paintings are like memory maps. They are never caught up in a specific moment in time. Instead Rohrer plays on the ambiguity of memory, and of history, or our collective memory.” Rohrer begins each work at the center of his canvas, moving outwards to create an intricate surface that exudes all kinds of potential meanings. The photos, text images and markings—including letters, stenciled forms, directional symbols—allude to the unconscious, which as Rohrer indicates, is the space in which human memory becomes disconnected from each persona. In referencing this phenomenon, Rohrer comments on the impersonal nature of gathering visual and verbal data in modern society. The result is a rare, but eloquent interpretation of seemingly mundane historical features merging products of popular culture’s temporality into high art’s eternality.