by Kristian Sotriffer
To Chinese obervers – co-walkers – of her forward moving, intertwining, sliding, skipping figures and formations, Lore Heuermann´s score-like ink-drawings will seem familiar. Her structures reveal kinship to corresponding calligraphies although their origings, their substance give away another source.
Only in her last years, with increasing maturity and certainty, the artist has arrived at the point towards which she has always gravitated. Step by step, without great hurry and let by a growing sensibility, she has conquered the field in which she now knows how to navigate with sovereign power and orchestrate her vocabulary.
From the beginning, the aspect of building, connecting moving and creating interrelationships have dominated the work of the German – born artist who has resided in Vienna, Austia, since 1956.
As painter, drawer and batik – artist she was always geared towards the complexities of cyclical units and researched cristallation points for the processes of flowing, process – oriented, and melodious formations. In all phases her acts were determined by the spelling (out) of the human body which she transforms into states of pure signs from which corresponding systems of relation arise.
Her changing of technical means, techniques and modes of production were undertaken from the get-go with a specific goal in mind. Unmistakably, this refers as well to Lore Heuermann´s processes of self – determination and assertion propelling her development of "living counter – currents to inhumanity and a – social behavor”, as she formulated in 1976 – in order to gain "impulses for the embellishement of life, a heightened sensibility.”
Her different forays into new terrain – in relation to "abandoning” features characteristic of earlier work groups – are closely tied to the creation of her own, ideosynchratic vocabulary, an alphabet which allows for qualities of variation but in which her formations always remain interconnected.
Her "Movement Cycles” of the mid – Seventies and "Human Alphabets” (1975/76) were already affected by this, as well as her nude studies of the years around 1980. In contrasting to artistic feats which formulate a clear "result”, Lore Heuermann concentrates her work process less on the sole, well – rounded work – of art – as much as each of her works could stand on its own. For her, the parts complementing and begetting each other carry superior significance.
"in praxis,everything is realized totally eruptively, spontaneously, explosively,” she once noted as far back as thirty years aso. While at work, she is a state described by her as "concentrated, dynamic, aggressive, irritable by any disruption.” Yet,her full concentration on self- assertion with in an open balance of flow/ing has not hampered her search for repeated new departures and new beginnigs. Following the goal of expanding her self – set framework, she perfected the stretch of familiar processes to outer limits.
Simultaneously, she has measured her progress against the use of new materials and changed dimensions, including the challenges inherent in it. At first, starting with 1983, she succeeded in bringing together "Old Rituals and New Programs” in her exquisite glass – etchings under the same title, has expanded and enriched this genre – already a focus in ealier years – with novel accentuations. Her joy of experimenting and finding new solutions finally led her towards a development characterized by revolutionizing her proper arsenal of figuration, as well as the concomitant techniqual preconditions necessary for its formulation.
Once again in this arena, her work deals with groups and couples encircling each other: whirling, suspended, rising, mixing and merging in somewhat of a grand round – dance. The buzzing, bouncing,swaggering, falling of fully balanced figurative dances becomes condensed – in analogy to later pen – and brush – drawings – to internally matched work groups organized within blocks and sequences. Her return to oil,- brush – and ink – painting on carefully chosen papers appears in the context of her experiences travelling through the Far East, i.g. Chinese landscapes, during the 1990´s.
There, the artist reencountered one of her own, very early felt soundworlds: the meditative moment accompanying her concentration exercises which were to determine the results of her artistic progress from then on. Water, trees and stones, waves and crests, curling twigs, the break – through of light – she experienced all of this as intimately related to her figurative sequences and structural formtions. What has emerged since then are rhythmic compositions akin to ciphers and old scriptures, and work –"series” in the shape of scrolls and banners to be laid midst of natural landscapes.
The principles of expansionand contraction, the categories of the openand the interwoven, the matted, are succeeded by interferences and intervels of "Movement in the Current of Time”. This is the title of her book of 1997. Inin, Lore Heuermann superimposes signs printed on waxed tissue paper and original fotographies taken during her trips to China.
Aigain, with this feat she understood to inscrible "new programs” into”old rituals”.What she is alble to exhibit of her newest works as medianting space and time,gives testimony to a small excerpt of those very flows of energy which encompass her life´s art.
With the purpose of never letting them run dry,she nourishes in herself – by means of incessant new beginnings – such force which finds it lyrically dramatic expression in her formations being at once soft and hard,supple and unwieldy,tender and massive. (translates from the German by Eva Brenner)
born in Bozen, Italy, in 1932. First educated as publishing book trader, he became an editor, program coordinator and publisher for several publishing companies (books include amongst others ”Great Austria – intellectual and social life from 1880 to the present”, 1982). Starting in 1963 numerous publications on contemproary art, monographies, and texts for catalogues. A second improdant focus of his essaystic activities has been on middle-European and alpine cultural landscapes between the Salzkammergut (Austria), Istrien, and Friaul (Italy). He has been living in Vienna, Austria, since 1957. Art critic of the daily newspaper "Die Presse” beginning in 1962, and collaborator with several magazines. 1993 National Prize for cultural journalism. Since 1987 freelance author.