Bernd Lohaus

1940 - 2010

Born in Düsseldorf (DE), died in Antwerpen (BE).

Bernd Lohaus was born in Düsseldorf in 1940; in his twenties, he enrolled at the highly regarded local art academy when Joseph Beuys was a professor there. Lohaus’ career in art only really took off, however, when he moved to Antwerp, where he quickly established himself as a key player in the city’s burgeoning avant-garde art scene, more specifically in the now legendary Wide White Space. In 1995, Lohaus’ work was the subject of an ambitious survey show at M HKA – the collection of which now holds two pieces by the artist: "Während/DU/als Gegenüber Oder/zwischen dem/ICH" and "Grote Sculptuur" ("Big sculpture"), both dating from the mid-eighties, highlight the artist’s signature preoccupation with the frontiers of language and the (im)possibility of communication, using his signature materials of wood and chalked words. More recently, M HKA has also exhibited a ‘historical’ work associated with the Gordon Matta-Clark Foundation: dating from 1979, "Raum" – first shown at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels – consists of a space simultaneously created and contained using long strips of brown paper tape. Against the walls of the space behind these flimsy yet no less forbidding bars, clearly visible but well out of the visitor’s curious reach, three drawings represent three words, the basic tenets of Lohaus’ austere, philosophically-minded practice: "nicht" (not), "nur" (only) and "nein" (no).


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