Arthur Löwen

Saturday 5 November 2022
7 — 11 PM

6 November — 4 December 2022

 November 05, 2022, 7 PM
Duration: November 06 – December 04, 2022
Greeting: Dr. Werner Dohmen, Chairman of the board NAK
Introduction: Maurice Funken, Director NAK

NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein is pleased to present the solo exhibition ˈkoun(t)ərˌpoint by Arthur Löwen. Löwen is showing new works in Aachen, which were created for the collectors’ group of the TWODO Collection. The exhibition will be on view at NAK from November 6 to December 4, 2022.

Arthur Löwen’s paintings pass through various phases in the process of creation, which always address the making of paintings as a formation. Thus Löwen has developed an individual painterly setting that both drives his artistic practice forward and is able to limit it in a productive way.

The artist continues the constant repetition of the procedure in variations and thus provides a technical framework for the artistic exploration.

In this way, the artist applies thin layers of paint to the front of the canvas, which are covered by a final contrasting layer. While this is still wet, he lays the painting support on an absorbent cloth. The back of the canvas facing him now becomes the parallel playground of the painting’s production.

Deliberately applied painterly gestures can be detected on the front of the canvas: imprints refer to physicality, a thrown “monoblock” testifies to dynamism and direction, the random placement is intentional, the folding of the imprinted cloth is carefully chosen. In addition, Löwen’s name appears on the canvas in mirror writing, which is translated as an abstract sign by means of a sweeping line and is by no means to be understood as a signature. This can also be understood as a critical reference to the idea of authorship and thus also to the established principles and historiography of painting.

Writing, gesture, imprint: the paintings reflect themselves in their creation. The artist thus reveals the act of painting in its components. Arthur Löwen’s painting is determined by sign-like traces that negotiate the question of meaning and non-meaning.

This is also the case in the new series Variation, which Löwen is showing at the Kunstverein. In the series, the artist uses the music-related term “counterpoint” as a painterly reference. Counterpoint describes a special compositional technique that confronts an existing sequence of notes as a counter-voice and is simultaneously perceived as an aesthetic construction. Following the analogy of music and painting that has developed over centuries – one only has to think of the concept of color tone or tonal color – Löwen transfers this technique of juxtaposition to his painterly works. Like two independent melodies played at the same time, Löwen’s paintings also accommodate different painterly concepts on the same picture surface, separated by a clear division in the centre of the picture. The upper part of the picture follows Löwen’s established procedure of his artistic index and thus creates the always variable but nevertheless characteristic structure. This is met in the lower part of the picture by painting as a counter-voice – a texture which, flowing, seemingly following no rules, opens up a new space of possibilities, or sometimes, left to chance, seeks the opening.

Moreover, the idea of counterpoint can also be found in the exhibition concept: for every negative print seen in the works, a positive can be assigned, stored in linen and cotton cloths. The cloths partially refer to the process of creation and are thus like an archive that finds a place here in the exhibition space.

Löwen rounds off the TWODO presentation with small-format works from the series Portraits. The works were created in the artist’s examination of the novel Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami; the story tells, among other things, of the (in)ability of a painter to portray “the man without a face”. The portraits again testify to Arthur Löwen’s interest in incorporating multidisciplinary, intellectual references into his own work.

Arthur Löwen (* 1987 in Orsk) studied at the Kunsthochschule Mainz with Winfried Virnich and at the Universität der Künste Braunschweig with Walter Dahn. He lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.

Kindly presented by: