For her upcoming show “Nothing to iron” we visited Nadine Lohof in her Studio in Berlin. Together we explored the inspirations, techniques and philosophy behind her work. You can find the full interview below.
What inspired this show and it’s title?

“The show is called ‘Nothing to iron’ and this painting that you see here next to me on my right side inspired that title. I started this work with a figure from Picasso which in German is called “die Büglerin”. It depicts a woman with a crouched back which is doing some ironing, it’s from his blue period. I stole this figure and then added some others that are standing around this ironing board. “Nothing to iron” comes from the notion that as a human being you always try to hide something, or you try to even something out. I think I’d like to play with this notion of raising the question: What is authenticity?

What interests me is: What is reality? What do we hide and what do we show to other people? With the ironing you try to make your clothes very neat, then you go out and can hide in what you wear. What you choose to wear allows you to play a character. All this also influences this show. It is a very interesting point for me to ask these questions. What am I? What are you? And what do I try to say and what do I try not to say.”

What is your creative process like?

would say there’s a lot going on in my mind. I see the process of
creating art as a form of digestion. And I would say that there is a lot
of art history in my work as well. Sometimes I form these figures or
characters in my head that I end up painting. There’s also a lot of
inspiration in daily situations that I maybe see when I’m outside. Weird
people walking around or funny moments that I find inspiring. Inspiration can really come from everything for me.

How have other artists influenced your work?

“Oh, I think about this a lot. I mean I love to look at art and there’s a lot of things that I love about Picasso and Baselitz. There is Rose Wylie, which I like a lot and there is Tony Matelli, he’s a New York based artist that mainly works in sculpture and he’s amazing. There are just too many names to mention I must say.”

What is the process of composition in your work?

“I think I work very intuitive. I never do an outline or something like that. Maybe I start with a face that inspired me. Sometimes I start with acrylics but mostly I start with oils. It can be a face or a small detail that I start with and then the composition comes to life. I think that the process of painting itself is very interesting for me. That I really don’t know which direction it will go and maybe don’t even know what colors I will choose. I start painting but everything can change. I add another color that it didn’t have in my mind before and some new form is coming to life. I try to play with this and just enjoy the process in itself.”

How long does it usually take you to paint one painting?

depends on the painting I must say. Sometimes it only takes a day,
sometimes it takes a year. It depends on how I paint, what paint I use.
This can be very different, and I like to play with that. So sometimes
I’m very fast and sometimes I’m very slow.”

What exactly inspired you to start doing sculptures alongside your paintings?

“I think I’m very much into the material. That you can really work with your hands on it. For this show I will exhibit sculptures made from soap. I think that creating these works is very interesting for me because it’s like a kneading process similar to baking a pizza. That is also what I’m doing when I’m painting, it feels like I’m cooking something. These sculptures give me the feeling of doing something with my hands and then they become very haptic objects which is why I like to work with them.”

What’s the connection between your sculptures and your paintings?

“I think it’s about leaving traces or trying to get rid of traces. The paintings are telling narratives of leaving traces or getting rid of traces and the same with the sculptures. I think the sculptures are maybe a bit more direct in this aspect than the paintings.”

What inspired you to use soap as a medium for your sculptures?

“After you eat something or you go to the bathroom, you wash your hands, and you get rid of the traces of what you just did. That’s what inspired me to work with this medium and the material is also just very haptic which I like very much.”

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