Spotlight: A New Zurich Exhibition Explores the Power of Line Through Christiane Löhr’s Organic Sculptures and Louis Soutter’s Gestural Paintings
The two-person show is currently on view at Dierking.
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About the Artists: This two-artist exhibition at Dierking, in Zurich, presents the drawings and sculptures of contemporary German artist Christiane Löhr alongside paintings by the famed Swiss artist Louis Soutter, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of his birth. Created from organic materials such as seeds, stems, blossoms, and leaves, Löhr’s intimately scaled sculptures appear like miniature vignettes of the natural world. The works combine a reverence for nature with an intense precision and intensity that calls to mind ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arrangements. Soutter’s figurative canvases from the 1930s and ’40s, on the other hand, are executed in gestural black strokes and offer a punch of bold movement amid Löhr’s carefully constructed works.
Why We Like It: Löhr’s drawings find the strongest dialogue with Soutter’s impassioned canvases in their shared emphasis on the power of line. She makes these abstracted drawings with an oil stick, dragging it out beyond the paper’s edges in elegant, continuous motions. The angular black lines give the impression of peering through branches on a winter’s day, and offer echoes of both Brice Marden’s and Ellsworth Kelly’s abstract plant studies. Soutter’s paintings on paper similarly evince an interest in movement and trajectories. The artist famously painted with his fingers, creating works that reverberate with decisive energy.
What the Gallery Says: “Any similarities lie purely in the aesthetic intensity of the artists’ respective styles, arising from a parallel in the application of the paint; both artists use their fingers to form the strong lines on the paper, resulting in a resemblance in dynamism and gesture which might be termed haptic. Löhr rubs the oil stick into the paper fibers with her fingers, whereas from 1937 onwards, Soutter made his famous finger-paintings by applying ink and gouache directly on to the paper, the color changing in quality according to the pressure of his fingers.”
See additional images of the exhibition below.
“Works by Christiane Löhr and Louis Soutter” is on view at Dierking, Zurich, through November 15, 2021.
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