Information

General Info:

Photocredits: 
Portrait of Bernd Lohaus by Kristien Daem
Reproductions of work: Philippe Degobert

Bernd Lohaus is represented by Tommy Simoens, Antwerp
www.tommysimoens.com

and Daniel Marzona, Berlin
www.danielmarzona.com

Other info on Bernd Lohaus’ work and youtube:
www.hanstheys.be

Awards

2018
Prize for best bookdesign was awarded to Thomas Desmet for his book BERND LOHAUS BLUMEN

Report of the jury:
Bernd Lohaus Blumen
Vormgever – editor Thomas Desmet, assistentie Emma Vanhille
Uitgeverij Ridinghouse Publishers (Londen) & Bernd Lohaus Foundation (Antwerp)
Winnaar in de categorie Beste Boekontwerp 

“Dit is een boek, gemaakt volgens de regels van de kunst”, zo liet een jurylid zich ontvallen. Het klonk plechtig, maar hij legde vervolgens haarfijn uit wat hij ermee bedoelde. En de voltallige jury begreep het direct. Al bij de eerste beraadslagingen viel Bernd Lohaus Blumen op en maakte het een steile klim in de stapel kanshebbers, vooral door zijn onpretentieuze soberheid. “Dit is zeer ingehouden geregisseerd. Het werk van de Duits-Antwerpse kunstenaar Bernd Lohaus (1940-2010) komt volkomen tot zijn recht, Bernd Lohaus’ werken krijgen door de vormgever een fragiel maar overtuigend platform aangeboden.” Want Thomas Desmet, die het boek ook mee samenstelde, houdt zich in de luwte. “Hij zwijgt zodanig dat het ineens opvalt”, luidde het.
Bernd Lohaus BLUMEN’ is een catalogus met alle bloementekeningen en – aquarellen van Lohaus uit de periode 1963 – 2009. Het zijn er meer dan driehonderd, gevolgd door een uitgebreide chronologische catalogus. Zeven kunstenaars of curatoren droegen bij tot het boek met een tekst of gedicht: Baudouin Oosterlynck, Manfred Pernice, Narcisse Tordoir, Gérard Traquandi, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Philippe Van Snick en James Welling. Kunsthistorica Catherine Mayeur schreef een
begeleidend essay.
De witte, uiterst uitgepuurde en kwetsbare cover – met een korte ‘Erinnerung’ in typemachineletters – laat een heel ander boek vermoeden. Gaat Desmet – geassisteerd in de vormgeving door Emma Vanhille – over tot een spel met de conventies? Tot je ontdekt hoe slim dit geregisseerd is. Je wordt rechtstreeks maar met rustgevende precisie meegevoerd doorheen Lohaus’ flora, met op allerlei dragers gemaakte tekeningen. Het contrast van het felle wit met de werken – afgedrukt op ongestreken papier – doet het prima, dankzij de vele beeldcorrecties die door de ontwerpers werden uitgevoerd. De plaatsing en schaal van de tekeningen refereert naar de originele werken. Niet minder uitstekend gerespecteerd is ook de dubbele functie van dit boek: als kijkobject en als werkinstrument. “Dit nogal zwaarlijvige boek kreeg een bijzondere lichtheid mee. En het is het beste wat er in Vlaanderen door een vormgever gemaakt is.”

 

2014
Bernd Lohaus Foundation wins Flemish Culture Award
https://youtu.be/-PQgwh4EHvI

PRESS RELEASE SVEN GATZ, FLEMISH MINISTER FOR CULTURE, MEDIA, YOUTH AND BRUSSELS
Thursday 28 May 2015
Bernd Lohaus Foundation wins Flemish Culture Award for Visual Arts 2014

Today, the Flemish Minister for Culture Mr Sven Gatz presented the Flemish Culture Award for Visual Arts 2014 to the Bernd Lohaus Foundation at the M HKA in Antwerp. According to the jury “the foundation succeeds in continuing the artistic vision of an artist and to give it a second life.
The foundation is an example of how it is possible to deal with art and artistic heritage today.” At this very moment, the exhibition ‘Fremdkörper: works from the studio of Bernd Bernd Lohaus’ is shown at the M HKA.
The Bernd Lohaus Foundation took the responsibility of preserving the artistic heritage of the artist Bernd Lohaus. It distinguishes itself through the manner in which it goes to great lengths to further develop the vision of the artist and to translate it into new artistic projects. The artist already paid attention to his own practice and to that of other artists. The foundation organises exhibitions and symposia and also awards its own prize. In all of its projects it focuses on artists and art mediators, and it organises the framework and the environment that help bring about art. Bernd Lohaus and Anny De Decker already set the tone with the Wide White Space Gallery, which has co-defined and enriched the Flemish and international art climate, among other things by bringing the work of Joseph Beuys to Antwerp.
The foundation is surprised and happy to receive the Flemish Culture Award. “It is a token of appreciation for the work of the past years, both with regard to the conservation and visibility of the works of Bernd Lohaus and with regard to encouraging and supporting other artists.”
The Flemish Minister for Culture Mr Sven Gatz: “Love for art and for others… The Bernd Lohaus Foundation spreads that message with plenty of brio and holds the heritage of artist Bernd Lohaus in esteem. It is a role model as a platform where artists and established values meet.”

More information is available at: www.cultuurprijzen.be

 

Texts on Bernd Lohaus:

On the work of Bernd Lohaus 

In Bernd Lohaus’s work, material becomes language. The chosen ma- terial for his sculptures may be wood, rope, stone and bronze, which the artist modifies only minimally, thereby allowing it to express itself, to speak its own intrinsic, physical language. In many cases, the works are also endowed with linguistic speech: words written ephemerally in chalk or carved into the sculpture elevate them to a semantic sphere. In this way, the material and its language correlate these works closely with time, space and humanity.
From a historic perspective, Lohaus’s works were produced against a background of Fluxus, social sculpture, Arte Povera and material art, oc- cupying their own distinctive place within this historic configuration. Art historians have consistently focused their investigations on the works he made from wood—or more specifically, azobe. Also known as red iron- wood, azobe is one of the heaviest and hardest woods from West Africa and is particularly resistant to sea water, which is why it was widely found in port and harbour constructions, including notably those along the River Scheldt. Initially, Lohaus found it easy to source pieces of used azobe wood—boards, blocks and cubes—from wood dealers in Antwerp. He was thus able to amass vast repositories of this material at his storage spaces on the Vlaamse Kaai and in Deurne.
Essays on Lohaus also frequently explore the use of written texts in his work. Yet by contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to his use of rope, even though this material played a prominent role in his oeuvre be- tween 1965 and 1970. During this time, the sculptor repeatedly combined wood with woven hemp and sisal ropes, with thinner cords and occasion- ally with darker lengths of tarred jute. In his early pieces, rope was almost as important as wood in terms of the work’s impact, with the wide, brown lengths glued to the wall to create virtual, “flat” beams.
Ropes are lines given physical form, creating a counterpart to the block of the wood. Here the physical conception of his early work clearly still bears the impression of Martin Heidegger’s ontology, a prevalent influence in aesthetic discourse at that time. This conceptual proximity is evident in Heidegger’s treatise The Origin of the Work of Art, in which the philoso- pher explores in detail the nature of materiality, as he writes: “That which gives things their constancy and pith […]—coloured, resonant, hard, mas- sive— is the matter in things. In this analysis of the thing as matter (hule), form (morphe) is already coposited.”1 Rope therefore brings another phys- ical language into being in the work alongside wood, and together they de- termine its form. Bernd Lohaus’s oeuvre includes serpentine coils of rope lying on the floor in a huge, primeval tangle; in other works, rope is wound around pieces of wood or ties them together; open wooden crates also ap- pear to be woven together with rope. Wooden planks hang from or lean against the wall on ropes; sometimes the tangled cords are gathered into surreal forms—into a kind of trunk or proboscis, for example. In terms of their historical origin, ropes also belong to the harbour landscape: we see coiled ropes on the quayside, ready to moor incoming vessels.
Bernd Lohaus both re-used old rope—sometimes rope he found drifting in the Scheldt—and also purchased new rope from traders. Rope express- es a flexible power, the power of traction; it binds, connects and secures. These early works by Lohaus—the works with rope, along with the “cou- drages”, pieces made from fabric and paper which were then embroidered in colour—were exhibited for the first time at the New Smith Gallery in Brussels in 1967.

Stephan von Wiese