Christiane Löhr

May 20 - July 20, 2006

PIAC is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the German artist Christiane Löhr (1965).

Nature is the central motif of Christiane Löhr's work. For her works - sculptures and installations- the artist employs elements belonging to the natural world, such as seeds of diverse vegetable species, stalks, stems, inflorescences of small plants, at times even horsehair. Through these simple materials, picked by the artist on an urban roadside or during a walk in the country, Löhr observes the perfection of the geometrical shapes, their inner structures, as well as their compositional potential, by dividing, sorting and drying them. The artist proceeds by means of aggregation, construction, sometimes only by juxtaposition, or by interweaving; this is the case of her horsehair pieces, where the joining of the different parts derives from the twining and knotting together of horsehair, which is then mounted to the wall on nails. In other cases, as in Gebirge, 2005, ivy seeds with their typical star-shaped structure combine into hillocks of small proportions or into architectonic shapes that resemble miniature hindu temples. At other times, as in Cushion of Seeds, 2005, Löhr employs light, almost impalpable ditch reed seeds to compose a soft cushion attached to the wall through an extremely thin nylon hairnet. Alternatively, she brings together dried dandelions, to form small or wider floor sculptures.
With slow and patient handwork, and renouncing any kind of adulteration (Löhr does not employ glue or any other chemical material to keep the elements together), the artist creates constructions a few centimetres high, finite shapes that open up to infinite associations. Fragile and almost transparent, Löhr's works interact with the void that surrounds them, as if stealing vital force from the transparency of air.

Fascinated by the presence of the curvilinear profile of the plateau which defines the visual horizon of the old town of Ragusa Ibla and by the high ribbed vaults of the exhibition space, Löhr presents in the centre of the exhibition space a convex sculpture of thistle seeds suspended in the void through an almost invisible hair-net and, on a small portion of a wall, a closely interwoven horsehair reticular wall sculpture. Drawing on the relationship between nature and architecture, between void and matter that rule and "keep the world together", Christiane Löhr creates new forms that are inspired by the natural surroundings and, in the specific case of the horsehair net, from Sicily's past Arab culture.

Christiane Löhr was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1965. She lives and works in Cologne and Prato, Italy. Known to an international audience for her participation in 2001 at the 49th Edition of the Venice Biennale curated by Harald Szeemann, she has shown in several solo and group exhibitions in international museums and galleries, including Objekte und Zeichnungen at the Kunstverein Heidelberg (2005), Wie die Dinge den Raum berühren at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn (2003) and Il racconto del filo at the Museo di Arte Contemporanea in Rovereto, Italy (2003).