Löhr’s work is ethereal. There is no obvious brush stroke, nor a repertoire style, so that every painting is unique. At the same time, decision making and control are apparent as a nature-like gesture where splashes and marks come alive, encompassing an ‘essence’. This never fails to surprise the viewer with vitality and constant dynamism. Flows of ink are caught in mid-air on a canvas, creating the rhythm of moving water or wind as parallel forces that are in motion.
Löhr's large abstract works capture time and fluidity. His paintings are a complex interaction between color, form and pictorial space. He works with many layers of paint on paper or canvas, mostly translucent, which in the process of painting are sometimes removed again and replaced by new ones. The entire chronology of his working process remains visible through the formations of overlapping, translucent layers of paint. Löhr’s technique of painting wet on wet, his use of extremely liquid medium and tools which are hardly controllable give way to planned occurrences of contingencies; colors may mix and new shapes appear while others fade away. His paintings become test areas of painterly possibilities, wherein the results always appear as readable compositions.
WORKS ON PAPER
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Born in Germany Alf Löhr trained as an artist at the Academy of Modern Art in Düsseldorf with mentors like Ullrich, Reusch, Heerich, Richter and Beuys and moved to London where he received a Ph.D. at the Royal College of Art for his public art projects. Continuing his research in this area with the support of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation he moved to Seattle and San Francisco in the following years, where he was Prof. to the school of art and a fellow to the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington, focusing on post modern conditions to socially engaged process orientated art in the U.S. During his tenure he organized international conferences on public art, was a consultant to the King County and the San Francisco Arts Commission and served on the board of the Centre of Art and Social Studies, Sacramento and the Californian Environmental Trust.
On his return to Europe Löhr took a leading role as a board member of the German artist association Deutscher Künstlerbund in Berlin and the international artist association IGBK as well serving as a trustee to enable new museums building and commissioning art for scared places. Löhr taught as a senior lecturer at the Environmental Art Department at the Glasgow School of Art before he followed into Mona Hatoun footsteps to be awarded the UWIC Fellowship in Cardiff where he founded Art and Ecology Research Projects, an initiative to enable interdisciplinary projects for artists with industry and professionals. He carried out large scale public art projects for Rolls Royce Turbine Manufactures, the Michelin tire company, the county of East Kilbride, the cities of Edinburgh, Goslar, Berlin and collaborated with Hermes, Paris, Studio&Partners, Milano and lately with the Indian fashion designer Jo Ikareth.
The question of the relationship between what one sees – that is, what the artist, with his particular powers of observation, sensibility and aesthetic awareness, perceives – and what one forms was already a matter of deep concern for artists such as Cézanne and Klee, who concluded that the artist creates something quite new and unknown parallel or analogous to nature. Before becoming involved with something completely unknown – to which the paintings are in fact an invitation – he seeks the aid of nameable forms from flora and fauna. For just as a poet writes a poem or a composer a song, Alf Löhr as a painter, uses colour and canvas in order to create something new in his own language, and thus to add something to the world. The polyfocal space, the ordered line, the contrary motion, the rhythm, the sustained tone, the melody or the amoeba-like form guide the viewer through unknown spaces, and all of a sudden we feel ourselves placed in dialogue: the painting and I.