Today the concept of flowing has more substance than the constructive one, says Stefan Löffelhardt. He explains further: „When I draw I follow the structures and landscape formations of my soul and think about the possibility of finding a universal ground, the one that can reach beyond the personal, like a universal language everyone has access to.“
The fifth solo exhibition by Stefan Löffelhardt (*1959) at Aurel Scheibler will show his most recent drawings from the series PAG as well as new sculptures and an installation.
The title of the exhibition Fluss (Stream) refers to the idea that the world is in constant change and motion: Nothing is static, everything flows. In his works Stefan Löffelhardt traces this process of permanent formation and transformation.
Concerned with the idea of a constantly flowing and fugitive world, Löffelhardt eventually directed his attention to the clouds and started to sketch them in 2008. As a sculptor, he wanted to grasp precisely the owing, indefinable, and ephemeral form of the cloud. But the outlines that have just been visible vanished soon after, so the artist continued drawing from memory and by doing so he inevitably directed his view inwards.
Löffelhardt shifted his focus from the external appearance of flowing to the inner world, to the constant emotional and intellectual stream in mind. Since 2009 his drawings are titled PAG, after the neurophysiological term signifying a part of brain that developed on a very early stage of the human evolution and contains basic, thousands of years old memories that influence our behaviour even today. For Stefan Löffelhardt, drawing means to explore the inner landscapes and to search for something that connects all of us in the ancient memory of the soul.
An analogy with landscape has been characteristic for his work from the very beginning. His installations (since 1999) are realisation of imaginary landscapes, whereas drawings can be associated with a journey through an inner terrain. A net of filigree lines – sometimes densely hatched, sometimes fragmentary, with colour accents or collaged parts – becomes a map of a soul.
The metaphorical reference to clouds recurs in Löffelhardt‘s sculptures. ‘Clouds’ are the sculptural objects hanging from the ceiling, compound of found pieces and functional materials like foil, plaster or styrofoam. His attitude to materials has a certain air of romanticism: finding the wonderful in the mundane. Löffelhardt uses things that have been thrown away, fell out of material circulation and landed on a roadside or in the garbage. He approaches them with a genuine affinity. The seemingly useless things get inflated with a new life and are enhanced in the work of art. Their composition is open; it balances between the tangible and indefinable, as if one constellation from an endless stream of possible scenarios found its physical manifestation – a possibility of being.
Stefan Löffelhardt, born 1959 in the south of Germany, lives and works in Düsseldorf. His work has been shown, among others, at Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin, Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Kunstverein Schwerte, Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, and Kunstverein Cuxhaven.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)