Ligia M. Römer, Ph.D., NCARB, is a licensed architect with a doctorate in philosophy. She studied architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Upon graduating she moved to Manhattan where she worked until acquiring her license to practice in 1991. At that point she returned to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate School & University Center.
During her graduate studies Römer started teaching architecture as an adjunct professor and established her practice (Bouwkunst), specializing in residential design. Upon receiving her Ph.D. she continued teaching architecture, including design studio, drawing, architectural history, as well as philosophy, including aesthetics and philosophy of architecture.
Eventually her teaching brought her down to Mississippi where she settled with her husband in Ocean Springs in 2000. Römer joined the faculty at Tulane University School of Architecture as an Adjunct Professor while practicing residential design. In 2010 she shifted from academia into the institutional art world when she joined the staff at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art serving as registrar for four years. In November of 2015 she started at the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation. Currently she is the Director of the Foundation.
The fusion of architecture and philosophy into art
As an architect, detailed pencil drawings are second nature to Römer. With the onset of CAD programs, the disappearance of the craft of drawing and its graphic beauty was perceived by her as a great loss. It is what started Römer's lifelong pursuit of abstract graphite pencil compositions, with clear architectural overtones.
The tendency toward abstraction likewise is fundamental. Architecture, after all, is inherently a very abstract discipline, and only becomes concrete once built. Architectural thoughts are expressed in points, lines, and planes and, until they get translated into buildings offering spatial experiences, remain in the realm of the conceptual..
Compound this highly abstract form of thinking on paper with the intensely intellectual pursuit of philosophy and you wind up with an art that is forever questioning, speculating, and juxtaposing geometric elements. These works explore rational, conceptual, spatial arrangements aiming toward compositional balance.
Römer's work does occasionally feature figurative elements but their juxtaposition with other elements always renders them theoretical, surreal, non-narrative, or distinctly out of place