Morrie Rohrlick – RIP

A New York critic once observed: “Morrie takes colored pencil and acrylics on paper and deftly transforms them into realistic, magnificent celebrations of color.” Morrie’s artwork reflects the joy he took in life, his intellectual curiosity, his love of travel and nature, his sense of humour, and his lively and generous spirit.

Marlene Chan remembers Morrie Rohrlick, painter, entrepreneur, academic, bon vivant who died this past week in San Miguel de Allende.


All of us who adored him, will miss Morrie Rohrlick. On behalf of Cinémagique, our heart-felt condolences go out to his wife and soulmate, Ruth, his family and friends.

Morrie and Ruth have been front row fixtures at Cinémagique from its inception; both are also longstanding contributors to the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL). Just before leaving for his annual trip to Saint Miguel de Allende, Morrie made his presentation on David Hockney, conveying Hockney’s passion for art, making art, the meaning of art in one’s life.

Next to Picasso, Hockney was Morrie’s greatest influence. He once told his grandson: ‘Hockney is my life!’  The confused grandson had understood his grandfather to have said, ‘Hockey is my life!’ Morrie was all for play and mystery.

In 1986, Morrie and Ruth were walking down Cork Street, home to contemporary London galleries. Coming towards them was Hockney, sporting what Morrie described as ‘disheveled chic’. Hockney’s hair was dyed blond; he was wearing his signature striped tie, striped shirt, striped suspenders, striped socks peeking emphatically above well-worn shoes.

So at his Hockney presentation, Morrie mimicked Hockney, sporting his own horizontal striped sweater. And, with trademark humour, Morrie chose a painting of Hockney facing Picasso across a table: Picasso, not Hockney, wearing the striped shirt. Morrie the trickster, subtly and not so subtly, ‘turned the tables’. His legacy lives on in his paintings, drawings and photo-collages.