text By Matthew Robert-Hughes
‘In Pieces’ is an exhibition of new and older works by London-based artist Natalie Loher at Window Nine Gallery, Munich. The exhibition brings together collage, ceramic and watercolor works; drawn from an interest in relationships between the two and three-dimensional, the material and the image and the maker and the mark.
Process and materiality are central to Loher’s practice, whereby the origin of the works in this exhibition begins with the artist’s hand and eye. This is the action of looking and a removal of material things of interest from the pages of fashion and interior magazines; with her scissors stealing contours and silhouettes from images of luxury and consumer goods. Then there is a period of erasure where the cut outs are left to sit and rest over long periods time, often years, until there is no memory of there origin; free to become their own independent shape and form. These fragments are then placed and juxtaposed to create new images as framed collages, full of pale pallets of colour, texture and material surfaces belonging to the seductive world of magazines. We see new objects and platforms, inside the frames entwined in uncanny landscapes, abstracted and fragmented. Ceramic shapes and organic forms are intermingled outside of the frames, somehow resembling the cutouts; below empty organic sea forms and vessels help to bring a wholeness and balance to the display.
The ceramic wall mounted and shelved works flow from the process of making the collages, bringing similar shapes and forms together. Surreal objects that have mimicry of Moholy-Nagy’s photographic still lives and the colour arrangements of El Lissitzky that feed back into the collages. These works along with the arranged watercolours are drawn from the subtle observations of daily life. The things that are noticed when walking through the city streets, fragments of sound and stories, and the marks and ephemera left by life. These small and fragile pieces hold an arrangement of this debris and memory - becoming marks and indentations left in the clay or immaterial illustrations on textured paper. We see the familiar marks and circular forms in the watercolour’s as well as the elements of nature and her natural forms..
The overall disparate and playful display mirrors the working processes and rituals of the artist in her studio. What becomes transparent is an appropriation and homage of art history and design that’s comes from an obsessive collector of images. These are images that are both physical and from memory, that together and unknowingly inform of the relationships of the imagined and the material within Loher’s work