Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rosa Loy: Tautropfen

There seems to be an endless supply of lovely German words that don't quite translate into English - sehnsucht (which is also the name of one of the works in this show), unheimlich etc - and tautropfen could be another to add to the list. Google translate tells me it means dew but the press release for the show makes it dewdrops (so there is a tiny bit of discrepancy there) and relates it to the way that the works in the show - which are predominantly on paper - are formed from the artists thoughts of the day and night before.

Rosa Loy, Der Bienenkorb, 2011, casein on canvas, 60x80cm

Rosa Loy is one of the Leipzig school and it is exciting to see her showing in the UK, but I'm not sure that this show has the most coherent selection of her work. The three paintings on display feature  awkwardly positioned composite girls - part 50s pin-ups, Social Realist workers and sixth formers at Mallory Towers - interacting with each other and evocative objects, such as beehives, in a slightly dispassionate way. But they do not really fit the 'dewdrops' brief which applies much more directly to the swiftly executed small pencil and watercolour works.

Rosa Loy, Inspiration, 2011, pencil and watercolour on paper, 23x31cm

These 'dewdrops' on paper are less constrained than the bigger paintings but are too stylistically varied to hang together as a serious body of work. Individually there are works which are quite stunning in an illustration-from-the-strangest-of-all-fairy-tale-book-way with Wizard of Oz like floating houses and fruit laden trees with faces. But they are really little more than fleeting ideas from a sketchbook. The show would have been more convincing with a whole room of more judiciously selected, stronger paper works.

Rosa Loy,  Freie Gedanken, 2012, pencil and watercolour on paper, 31x23cm

Rosa Loy (and indeed her husband Neo Rauch) seem to be very undershown in the UK so it was a treat to see this small collection of her work. But for her next solo show in the UK it would be fantastic to see a show which really hangs together - maybe even a serious collection of her paintings.

Cathy Lomax

Rosa Loy, 'Tautropfen'
Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
6 Heddon Street, London W1
23 February - 15 March 2012


  1. Loy and Rauch had quite a big show in Essl, near Vienna last year.

    Also >

  2. A soundtrack for Loy >