Bernd Lohaus Stichting

   Following the death of Bernd Lohaus in 2010, Anny De Decker and her children, Jonas and Stella Lohaus, established the Bernd Lohaus Foundation on 21 August 2012. The purpose of this private foundation is to maintain and promote Bernd Lohaus’s art and ideas.
Besides organizing exhibitions, lectures and symposia, and inventorying and archiving Lohaus’s sigmaessay oeuvre, the Foundation also aims to support artists and art mediators.

Bernd Lohaus Prize awarded to GAGARIN – the Artists in their Own Words

(excerpt from the speech at the opening, October 21st 2016, by Anny De Decker)

“Tonight, the Prize Bernd Lohaus is awarded for the fifth time. Four times, it went to an artist (Lien Hüwels, Maurice Blaussyld, Gert Robijns and Olivier Foulon). Now, for the fifth edition, the prize goes to an art mediator. This makes sense as Bernd, outside of his activity as an artist, ran the gallery and dedicated himself to the oeuvre of others for ten years. In this sense, we recognize the same dedication in the activities of Wilfried Huet.

 That’s why this year the Prize goes to the magazine GAGARIN – the Artists in their Own Words. Wilfried Huet started the project in 2000, has since released 32 issues and is currently working on issue 33, the last one.

 GAGARIN is a very peculiar magazine, incomparable to any other. It is the only magazine in the world that gives the floor exclusively to artists.

 Each issue is participated in by eight artists who work today, anywhere in the world. These eight artists come from as many countries. If possible, the texts are published in their original language and script, with the addition of a Dutch and English translation. To give you an idea of the different languages: they range from Albanese, Amharic, Arabic and even Azart to the Transvaal, Turkish and Swedish. Even braille and polyphony appear.

 I will spare you the list of 264 artists, but it contains a lot of big names. Yet essay help online
Wilfried has invited many artists at a time when they weren’t very known. He concentrates on those who don’t wish to wait until everything is verified and summarized, those who are prepared to search for stimulating art and ideas when they are still fresh. By bringing together, in every issue, contributions by artists from different countries, of a different language, of a different age, of a different celebrity within the art world, the reader is exposed to known artists on the one hand and the ideas of young people on the other.

 This exhibition shows texts from GAGARIN, together with work by artists who published in GAGARIN. Here as well, we chose to bring together five different generations and nationalities: Roman Signer (1938, Appenzell, CH), Guy Rombouts (1949, Geel, BE), Suchan Kinoshita (1960, Tokio, JP), Joe Scanlan (1961, Circleville, USA), Petrit Halilaj (1986, Kostërrc, KS) and Kasper Bosmans (1990, Lommel, BE).

 GAGARIN is a magazine much in demand among artists.

We are happy to award the Prize to GAGARIN, as original projects usually can’t count on much official support in Belgium.”


Anny De Decker, Wilfried Huet, 2016


Stella Lohaus, Wilfried Huet, Anny De Decker, Ulli Lindmayr, 2016



Gagarin, LLS 387, 2016

Gagarin, LLS 387, 2016



Bernd Lohaus Prize awarded to Olivier Foulon

 “I think my works should be as simple as possible – next to nothing.

 Olivier Foulon onderzoekt hoe kunst en kunstwerken verschijnen. Zijn werk brengt beelden en verhalen uit de kunstgeschiedenis samen in combinaties die nieuwe interpretaties en lezingen aanbieden. Foulon vindt het niet nodig of interessant om nieuwe beelden te maken. Hij ziet potentieel in wat er al is. Hij is geïnteresseerd in het maken van nieuwe configuraties met bestaande afbeeldingen en verhalen. Hij eigent zich specifieke kunstwerken, beelden en teksten toe, onthult informatie en biedt de kijker open verbanden aan. Hierbij hoedt hij zich om ‘betekenis’ te geven.

De artistieke praktijk van Olivier Foulon focust op de rol en de plaats van kunst. Hij onderzoekt zowel de relatie tussen origineel, kopie en reproductie; de presentatie en publicatie van kunstwerken; als de rol van de kunstenaar. Zijn publicaties, installaties, films en werken op doek vertellen over hoe kunstwerken functioneren en hoe kunstgeschiedenis wordt doorgegeven. Hoe verschillen afbeeldingen en reproducties van het unieke werk? Wat is originaliteit in de kunst? Zijn vertrekpunt is vaak een onderzoek naar een bepaalde afbeelding, kunstwerk, anekdote of kunstenaar. Foulon biedt ons vervolgens informatie die het mogelijk maakt om op andere manieren naar een bepaald werk én naar kunst in het algemeen te kijken.

Olivier Foulons interesse in kunst betreft niet enkel de verschijningvorm van het kunstwerk. Hij belicht eveneens de verschillende spelers, rollen, en hun onderlinge wisselwerking: van opdrachtgever en model tot uitvoerder, vervalser en inspiratiebron. Foulon ziet kunst niet als een unieke creatie van een meester-schepper. Het ontstaat in een netwerk van mensen en connecties. Zo gaat ook hij wisselende allianties en samenwerkingen aan met vrienden, verzamelaars, kunstenaars, critici, collega’s, etc. rondom hem – echter zonder de nood of wens om een rolverdeling te definiëren. Het samen werken staat centraal en is onderdeel van zijn notie van het kunstenaarschap.

(version française)

“I think my works should be as simple as possible – next to nothing.”

 Olivier Foulon analyse la façon dont l’art et les œuvres d’art se manifestent. Son œuvre combine des images et des récits de l’histoire de l’art pour offrir d’autres interprétations et grilles de lecture. Foulon n’éprouve pas la nécessité de créer de nouvelles images, préférant mettre en valeur le potentiel existant et former des nouvelles configurations. Se réappropriant des œuvres d’art, des images et des références littéraires spécifiques, il en dévoile l’information et offre au spectateur des associations libres, en se gardant bien d’y ajouter de la « signification ».

 La pratique artistique d’Olivier Foulon se focalise sur le rôle et la place de l’art. Il analyse tant la relation entre l’original, la copie et la reproduction, la présentation et la publication d’œuvres d’art que le rôle de l’artiste. Ses publications, installations, films et œuvres sur toile décrivent comment l’œuvre d’art fonctionne, et comment l’histoire de l’art est transmise. Quelles sont les différences marquantes entre l’image et la reproduction d’une œuvre donnée, unique ? Où réside l’originalité dans l’art ? Sa démarche commence souvent par l’analyse d’une image, d’une œuvre d’art, d’une anecdote ou d’un artiste. Ensuite, Foulon nous propose l’information qui rend possible de poser un autre regard sur l’œuvre en question et par la même occasion sur l’art en général.

L’intérêt qu’Olivier Foulon porte à l’art ne s’arrête pas aux manifestations de l’œuvre d’art. Il met aussi en lumière les différents acteurs, leurs rôles et leurs interactions : de client à modèle, en passant par l’exécutant, le faussaire et la source d’inspiration. Foulon ne voit pas l’art comme la création unique d’un maître créateur, mais comme un événement qui prend naissance dans un réseau de personnes et de connexions. Comme lui, qui contracte des alliances et des collaborations changeantes avec des amis, des collectionneurs, des artistes, des critiques, des collègues autour de lui – sans pour autant ressentir le besoin ou le souhait de définir une répartition des rôles. Œuvrer ensemble est le mot-clé, et un élément crucial de sa vision du métier d’artiste.


Olivier Foulon, Eva Wittocx, 2015


        Olivier Foulon
Installation view LLS 387, 2015


        Olivier Foulon
Installation view LLS 387, 2015





Bernd Lohaus Prize awarded to Gert Robijns

When considering the recipient of the Bernd Lohaus Prize only the artistic qualities of an oeuvre are taken into account, not the artist’s age or the medium in which he or she works. Anny De Decker, Stella Lohaus and last year’s winner Maurice Blaussyld selected a number of artists who had particularly attracted their attention in the previous twelve months. Catherine de Zegher, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, was then asked to visit the artists and name the award-winner. Her decision is based on the work and her meeting with the artist, not on reports or intermediaries. Catherine de Zegher has awarded this year’s prize to Gert Robijns.

Robijns often plays with unusual arrangements of ordinary objects, transforming the quotidian into the poetic. Prone, aslant or transplanted objects are deployed in unexpected arrangements or rebuilt on a different scale. To cite an example, he rebuilt the village where he was born, ten kilometres away, on a scale of 75%, in white. Robijns is currently working on RESETHOME, a project involving the destruction of his grandparents’ former home – all but for two walls – and its reconstruction ten centimetres away as a sculpture/art pavilion where other artists can work, exhibit and stay.

Although this kind of referencing is by no means a requirement, for the award ceremony on 1 November 2014 at LLS 387 ruimte voor actuele kunst, Gert Robijns produced an arrangement that is directly related to the playful, poetic aspect of Bernd Lohaus’s work and ideas. Robijns’s watercolours of everyday items, foodstuffs, and plants of all kinds evoke Lohaus’s watercolours of flowers: in terms of colour, size, white space and medium they have much in common, although in the use of colour and line the work of each artist displays an inherently personal hand. At the same time, Robijns’s watercolours – grouped in fixed series or in conjunction with other objects – form an internal dialogue that is particular to his wider practice. The artwork with the title LOHAUS, which has been specially made for this occasion, consists of two large, superimposed photographs: a detail of the shelves in the storeroom and former studio of the German-Belgian artist, where Lohaus’s works are archived, is just visible beneath a topographic photo with a very low horizon. The large sky with its fleecy clouds and the glimpse of the Limburg landscape in which Robijns works each day on RESETHOME connects his own artistic practice with that of Lohaus in a generational overlap. In the sky a group of migratory birds form a sideways letter L. The superimposed images and the second ‘horizon’ of the white edge of the top photo are an abstract reminder of the quays of the River Scheldt in Antwerp, close to the place where Lohaus spent much of his artistic life.

Gert Robijns (Sint-Truiden, Belgium, 1972) studied at the LUCA School of Arts in Brussels from 1992 to 1996 before becoming a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (the Netherlands). Two artist’s residences followed, at PS1 in New York and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. Since 2001 he has been a guest lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. In 2011 Robijns received a good deal of critical attention for The Village– his reconstruction of the village where he was born, several kilometres away. RESETHOME is due to open in 2015.


    Anny De Decker, Gert Robijns, Catherine de Zegher, 2014


Gert Robijns
Installation view LLS 387, 2014



Gert Robijns
Installation view LLS 387, 2014




Bernd Lohaus Prize awarded to Maurice Blaussyld

In considering the recipient of the Prize Bernd Lohaus only the artistic qualities of an oeuvre are taken into account, not the artist’s age or the medium in which he or she works. Anny De Decker, Stella Lohaus and last year’s winner Lien Hüwels chose four artists who had particularly attracted their attention in the previous year. Subsequently, Jan Hoet was asked to visit the artists and then to indicate the laureate. He has awarded the prize to the French artist Maurice Blaussyld.

Maurice Blaussyld (b. Calais, 1960, lives and works in Roubaix, France) makes sculptures, drawings, objects and videos. Inspired as a young artist by Joseph Beuys, Blaussyld has spent twenty-five years working consistently on an oeuvre whose core concept is transmutation: metamorphosis or mutation into another phase. In alchemy this revolves around the transformation of a base metal into gold (the elevation of the soul); in biology transmutation refers to a gradual transformation into a higher species.
Blaussyld’s oeuvre explores an ideal hidden world, a world unknown to us, evoked with exceptionally austere and precise means. All his works attempt to give form to emptiness as transmuted materiality. Early drawings of ‘energy flows’ and more particularly the recent handwritten and largely illegible texts suggest the secret of an underlying meaning.
How can we talk about immateriality / spirituality through matter? Can art give expression to non-being, to death? What forms, what subjects can be used to reveal the confinedness, the finiteness of something perceptible, something manifest? Doesn’t infinity withdraw from our gaze?
‘Maurice Blaussyld’s works live but stand still,’ writes Jan Hoet, ‘In their movement they have found the moment in which an order emerges. (…) In that intermediate moment it becomes absolute yet remains alive.’

In LLS 387 Blaussyld presents three works, brought together as a single entity, in which not only the whole but also all the parts are executed with enormous precision (position, light, shape, colour). He pursues an oeuvre, an unknown sign that could reveal our essential innerness.
‘Je pense au secret de l’homme, à sa nature intime; au dévoilement de sa destinée.’ (‘I think of the secret of man, his inner nature, the unveiling of his destiny.’)


Maurice Blaussyld - installation view LLS 387 Antwerp - 1

Maurice Blaussyld
Installation view LLS 387, 2013


Maurice Blaussyld - installation view LLS 387 - 2

Maurice Blaussyld
Installation view LLS 387, 2013


Maurice Blaussyld - installation view LLS 387 - 3

Maurice Blaussyld
Installation view LLS 387, 2013


Laudatio Prize Bernd Lohaus - Jan Hoet and Maurice Blaussyld

Jan Hoet, Maurice Blaussyld, 2013


Prize Bernd Lohaus - Maurice Blaussyld, Anny De Decker and Hannelore Mattheus

Maurice Blaussyld, Anny De Decker, Hannelore Mattheus, 2013


Prize Bernd Lohaus - Stella Lohaus and Maurice Blaussyld

 Stella Lohaus, Maurice Blaussyld, 2013



Bernd Lohaus Prize awarded to Lien Hüwels

In furtherance of this aim the Prize Bernd Lohaus was created, an annual award to be presented to an artist in four consecutive years and to an art mediator in the fifth year. In considering the recipient of the Prize Bernd Lohaus only the artistic qualities of an oeuvre are taken into account, not the artist’s age or the medium in which he or she works.
The procedure is as follows: Anny De Decker and Stella Lohaus both choose a number of artists. A prominent figure from the visual arts is then asked to visit these artists and to name the eventual winner. Judgment is based on the work and the meeting with the artist, not on reports or intermediaries. Kasper König, co-founder of the Skulptur Projekte Münster, former director of the Städelschule in Frankfurt and the director of the Ludwig Museum in Cologne (until the end of October 2012), was the first to be invited to carry out this task. He has chosen Lien Hüwels.


Lien Hüwels - untitled, 2011 (videostill)

Lien Hüwels
Untitled, 2011
Video (still)


Lien Hüwels (1988, Ekeren), who lives and works in Antwerp, makes photos, videos and installations. She is a graduate of Sint Lucas Antwerp, where Koen Theys was one of her teachers. Last year her work was shown in the group exhibition NowBelgiumNow and in The Tiberius Principle at the Middelheim Museum.
Lien Hüwels’s portraits suggest a minimal dramatic event, which we as spectators cannot interpret in any conclusive way: a scantily-clad woman lies on a sofa, confronting us with a challenging gaze; a woman pulls a white sheet protectively over her body, a woman sits on the floor in a crude empty space, a young girl in a striped T-shirt doubts how far she should go. Through posture, facial expression, setting (clothes and background) and so on, each of the portraits allows us to surmise more than we actually see. All the more so because the artist appears simultaneously as author and actress, explicitly raising the issue of the pitiless treatment of the female body and its vulnerability in her work. Thus, aspects of embarrassment virtually coincide with moments of challenge and the large format seems a contradiction to the visualization of intimacy. These ambiguities and the directness with which the artist stages the events give the viewer a feeling of uneasiness and voyeurism.
Lien Hüwels employs an idiom that is full of subtle references to art history and film, so the poses she presents are never vacant but have an apparent familiarity.
In the deliberate paucity of her imagery – the use of black and white, the low camera angle, the generally meagre setting – she turns the atmosphere to a poetic melancholy.
In her most recent work, the dark photograph in the window and the empty podium on which a couple of photo lamps stand, the model almost or completely disappears.


Lien Hüwels - installation view - 2

Lien Hüwels
Installation view LLS 387, 2012


Lien Hüwels - Installation view - 3

Lien Hüwels
Installation view LLS 387, 2012


Lien Hüwels - Installation view - 1

Lien Hüwels
Installation view LLS 387, 2012


Prize Bernd Lohaus - Kasper König, Anny De Decker and Lien Hüwels

Kasper König, Anny De Decker, Lien Hüwels, 2012


Prize Bernd Lohaus - Stella Lohaus, Anny De Decker, Lien Hüwels and Kasper König

Stella Lohaus, Anny De Decker, Lien Hüwels, Kasper König, 2012