Sep 15, 2011

PROFILE I Helmut Lohr

Winter Solstice, 2006, Collage, 13x13 inches

     Although I could not find much information on Helmut Lohr, a German fine artist born in 1955 living and working in New Mexico, I was intrigued by his work too much to pass him by. Lohr was an important representative of visual poetry, performance, collage, conceptual art and texts in different languages incorporated into most of his work all forming a unique visual experience. Different texts were found in numerous mediums, not as a message, but as a visual aspect adding to the over all concept of the piece.

     During an interview in 2003 with Pasatiempo, an arts and culture magazine published by The New Mexican, Lohr says, 
     "We can't read it intellectually as we read text. We are living in times when there is so much written information, we don't live our own stories anymore -- we are so constantly involved in the stories of others. With deconstructed text, I'm not presenting a story; I am giving the person the option to create their own story."

Lohr live and worked all over the world, and his works exhibited in over 200 shows and collections around the world including NYC, Berlin, London, Miami and Japan. He also published numerous books with different composers and musicians such as Pat Irwin, an Emmy award winning composer as well as books on visual poetry.

Lohr had several pieces like the one above, a book that he would break down by cutting them open and slowly putting them back together, gluing on one piece or page at a time. Small amounts of page visible, showing corners and edges of lettering in a spiral. The collage Winter solstice and a similar untitled collage made in 2000, both using sheets of music with certain points on each sheet cut out making a jagged or smooth texture as it turns. I believe these collages show his love for music and design, they leave you wondering what his intentions were while making them.

The picture below shows words cut out of a piece of paper on top of a vintage photograph showing a religious Madonna and child. A depiction found in art for over a thousand years. Lohr said he wanted the viewer to create their own story with his art work. The stories to come up with such a limited collage are endless. What I am interested in are what he sees when looking at his own work.
Untitled 1 (Deconstructed text), 2002, vintage photograph and paper, 91/2 x 61/4 inches

Lohr passed away on Christmas day 2010 at the age of 55, leaving behind a vast collection of visual arts, books and performances catching the eye and the mind of anyone who comes across his work.

- Matthew Jones


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