Nadine Lohof – Nothing to iron

Solo exhibition at Circle Culture Gallery Berlin. Opening June 22, 2023.

Nadine Lohof wanders through gestural and psychological references through the history of art. She is inspired by the baroque of Francois de Troy or the French realism by Gustave Courbet via Pablo Picasso’s figurative works and the Dutch genre painting of a Gerard ter Borch (the Younger). The Berlin artist makes use of numerous motifs and aesthetics of the history of human representation to defend a very contemporary painterly position with depth.

In Nadine Lohof’s painting one experiences social spaces that resemble theatrical stages. The figures are painted in a peculiarly rhythmic stroke around tablecloths, on “flying carpets,” on mattresses, or grouped around scraps of lawn.

The figures in movement here could be entire families, including pets and neighbors – all of them rather preoccupied with their reveries, traumas and fears or wallowing in longings. Some feelings and thoughts of the illustrated actors could be influenced by each other. Psychographic elements appear pictorially in the form of decontextualized objects that hover above or below the vivid pictorial scenes.

The painted human and animal figures of different genders seem to be in psychosocial relationships that are always characterized by a certain distance. They stand and sit together, but barely with each other. It seems like one of the defining symptoms of our world today, in which many people are looking for ways of avoiding the healing confrontation with reality and ways of coping with it. Be that through consumption, conspiracy theories or in the distraction by digital media. People like to indulge in a certain escapism. In the family and private sphere this creates a certain alienation, which in many cases prevents necessary intergenerational trauma work. In the end, the path to social happiness is obstructed.

In the painterly spaces of Nadine Lohof, the actors seem to celebrate a certain belonging to each other. Their fantasies, utopias, relationships and, in part, even their sexuality. Nadine Lohof delivers a peak performance of artistry. Through her sensitivity for subcutaneous states of social relationship structures, she proposes a current psychogram of our society.

The artist has understood that humor can be a wonderful vehicle to convey complex contents. It helps us to laugh about the difficulties of human existence. And as such she paves a way to more lightness in our lives through her art.

Johann Haehling von Lanzenauer