Spotlight: a new Zurich exhibition explores the power of the line through organic sculptures by Christiane Löhr and gestural paintings by Louis Soutter

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About the artists: This two-artist exhibition in Dierking, Zurich, features drawings and sculptures by contemporary German artist Christiane Löhr alongside paintings by renowned Swiss artist Louis Soutter, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of her birth. Created from organic materials such as seeds, stems, flowers and leaves, Löhr’s intimate scale sculptures appear as miniature vignettes of the natural world. The works combine a respect for nature with an intense precision and intensity reminiscent of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangements. Soutter’s figurative canvases from the 1930s and 1940s, on the other hand, are executed with gestural black strokes and offer a touch of daring movement amid Löhr’s carefully constructed works.

Installation view of “Christiane’s works Löhr and Louis Soutter ”, 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Why we love it: Löhr’s drawings find the strongest dialogue with Soutter’s passionate canvases in their common emphasis on the power of the line. She makes these abstract designs with an oil stick, sliding it past the edges of the paper in elegant and continuous movements. Angular black lines give the impression of looking through the branches on a winter’s day, and offer echoes of the abstract plant studies of Brice Marden and Ellsworth Kelly. Soutter’s paintings on paper also demonstrate an interest in movement and trajectories. The artist painted with his fingers, creating works that resonate with decisive energy.
What the gallery says: “All the similarities lie solely in the aesthetic intensity of the artists’ respective styles, resulting from a parallel in the application of paint; the two artists use their fingers to form the strong lines on the paper, resulting in a resemblance of dynamism and gesture that could be described as haptic. Löhr rubbed the stick of oil into the fibers of the paper with his fingers, while from 1937, Soutter made his famous finger paintings by applying ink and gouache directly to the paper, the color changing from quality according to the pressure of his fingers.

See additional images from the exhibit below.

Installation view "works by Christiane Lohr & Louis Soutter" 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view of “Workuvres de Christiane Löhr and Louis Soutter ”, 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view of “Christiane’s works Löhr and Louis Soutter ”, 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Louis Soutter, Four Figures (1937-1942).  Courtesy of Dierking.

Louis Soutter, Four characters (1937-1942). Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view "works by Christiane Lohr & Louis Soutter" 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view of “Workuvres de Christiane Löhr and Louis Soutter ”, 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view "works by Christiane Lohr & Louis Soutter" 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

Installation view of “Workuvres de Christiane Löhr and Louis Soutter ”, 2021. Courtesy of Dierking.

“Work of Christiane Löhr and Louis Soutter” is on view in Dierking, Zurich, until November 15, 2021.

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