Christiane Löhr, Samenwolke (seed cloud), 2020
It is difficult to express in a few words the rigorous work of Christiane Löhr, a student of Jannis Kounellis. For the author, who has always been involved in the creation of drawings, sculptures and installations, direct contact with nature and the relationship with the surrounding space are the source of her creative activity that presupposes a long work in solitude.
Löhr draws inspiration from the natural world and, thanks to a refined abstract process, she recognizes its internal structure, its essence, its secret. The artist uses in her works seeds of different plants - wild thistle, ivy, grasses, or horsehair.
Thanks to a wise game of "interweaving", the artist creates microcosms of extreme lightness and extraordinary expressive power, in a fragile balance suspended between the lightness of the material and the solidity of a rigorous architectural construction. In this way Christiane Löhr creates grandiose "botanical" architectures of small and large dimensions.
As the artist says: "I built a very personal theory. It is the observation of the forces that are expressed in nature, as well as in architecture". Thanks to natural plant elements, the artist reveals, therefore, how much lives in the deepest heart of nature itself, its sap, strength, energy. He makes the mysterious life of plants present.
Christiane Löhr creates a permanent installation for the late nineteenth-century dome of the Chapel of the Dancers in the Museo San Fedele entitled Samenwolke (seed cloud) 2020, in direct relation to the ancient fresco of the Madonna of Milk. Hanging from the small dome of the chapel, and using the physical force of gravitation, the existing concave shape of thistles seeds is positioned in the concave space of the dome. On the wall where the altar is placed, stands the fresco of Our Lady of Milk. In this religious context, the relationship between the ancient image and the artist's work appears immediate. Both speak of fertility of life, tenderness, sweetness.
If the "basket" of seeds refers to the life that is about to open and germinate, the Madonna who breast-feeds her child is instead an extraordinary image of life that slowly appears on the world. In fact, they are two "icons" on the deeper meaning of our being in the world.