Rosa Loy: Lucky Days

16 November - 17 December 2022
Installation Views
Press release
Gallery Baton is pleased to announce Lucky Days, the third solo exhibition by Rosa Loy (b. 1958) from 16th November to 17th December 2022. Rosa Loy is one of key figures of NLS (New Leipzig School) with a prominent German painter and her partner, Neo Rauch. In this exhibition, she will unveil a new series of works which underline sympathetic, intimate and enigmatic dynamics among the characters and the romantic and dramatic ambience subtly prevailing the entire canvases.

When we discuss the features of the NLS group, the direct and indirect influence of Socialist Realism in former Eastern Germany is often mentioned first. The 19th-century German Romantic art achieved great prosperity in the Saxony state of Eastern Germany. This long, rich cultural heritage of painting has a significant impact on establishing Loy’s practice and perspective. Her paintings seem flamboyant at a brief glimpse, yet the viewers would soon find that the entire composition of the color patterns systematically responds to one or two dominant hues. Above all, this tendency clearly corresponds to a representative element of modern European painting. Not only the frequently appearing floral imageries and botanical landscapes but the detailed description of them stem from her professional experience as a horticulturist; they are also related to the reverence for nature that the Romantic artists had deeply explored.  

An ambiguity of the uncertain time and space that characters belong to in her works and their riddling activities correlates with how she comes up with her inspirations and attempts to deliver them on the canvas. As she does not adopt photographic images or printed materials, the sole source of her creation is either imagination or the subconscious. The suddenly emerging images reminiscent of fragments of dreams sometimes offer clues to the artist or raise curiosity about the origin of the ideas when the artist encounters what she produces. Loy has paid constant attention to paints containing casein to enhance the dreamlike effect in her paintings. Casein is a traditional medium mainly applied to frescoes, while in the current environment, its frequency in use has considerably decreased due to the advance of acrylic and oil colors. Nevertheless, the matte finish and the relatively short drying time fascinated Loy. The advantages consequently have allowed her to manufacture and proficiently employ authentic colors without additives leading to her present mysterious style of painting.

The main subject of her depiction is the female. Loy considers that the fictional friends she conjured up to replace her real peer friends when she had to move to Leipzig in her childhood manifest as the characters in her paintings. The female figures in her practice are usually described as self-indulgent confident individuals or leading people having a strong sense of responsibility for their behaviors. These central figures with bold expressions in glamorous costumes metaphorically indicate the artist’s admiration for independent women who contribute to constructing the ideal society.

Rosa Loy lives and works in Leipzig. She studied horticulture at Humboldt University of Berlin and completed her BFA and MFA at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig. She has participated in numerous exhibitions on international art museums including Pinakothek der Moderne (2019) in Munich, Museum der Stadt Bensheim (2020), Gutshaus Steglitz (2019) in Berlin, Drents Museum (2017) in Assen, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (2012), Fondazione Coppola (2019) in Vicenza, Space K (2022) in Seoul. Her works are included in the collection of major art institutions and organizations such as MoMA, MoCA in USA, Pinakothek der Moderne, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Deutsche Bank in Germany, Busan Museum of Art in Korea.