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23 February – 15 March 2012

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition of drawings by Leipzig-based artist Rosa Loy. Tautropfen brings together works that reflect on the journey towards Loy’s paintings. For an artist whose work hinges on the alchemical states of both her subject and composition, this exhibition explores the moments in which these myths and abstract narratives are in the process of becoming.

Tautropfen (dewdrops) are, for the artist, a natural metaphor referring to the early morning, when information collected from the night and the previous day have a new life and set of possibilities. This is also the time of day when Loy makes the main body of her drawings, before she leaves the house for her studio. In many ways, the studio, or the idea of painting, becomes a metaphysical destination and a driving force for the drawings. Used at once as a familiar backdrop or context for the work, the broader ‘site’ of painting encompassed by the idea of the studio extends into the sense of unfamiliarity emerging from moments of strange conglomeration and rebuttal between figure, plane and ground.

Like many artists of the Leipzig School, including husband Neo Rauch and a younger generation of painters; Martin Kobe, David Schnell and Tilo Baumgärtel, Loy processes the world of the familiar and transforms it into that of the unknown. In Loy’s compositions, as in Rauch’s, the main protagonists reveal themselves to be incoherent subjects, engaged in some kind of work or action that appears symbolic, and upon closer inspection, ambiguous and socially contradictory. These figures are often indivisible from the landscape, appearing to hover on the picture plane. They seem to merge with the shapes and colours of the drawings, allowing the female figure to take on a political and an aesthetic identity.

This exhibition of drawings allows us to explore the diversity and multiplicitous life of Loy’s motifs. New narratives are facilitated between the works, drawing out absurdities and paradoxes within Loy’s compositions, where mythical creatures and symbolic plants and animals live within and alongside flat, almost Cubist intersections of planes and often Pop-like stage sets. In their reappearance and proliferation across her drawings, Loy’s motifs are reaffirmed as clichés and stereotypes, allowing the viewer room to reflect on the space of story-telling and the possibilities of re-reading within each individual composition.

Recent solo exhibitions include Essl Museum, Vienna (with Neo Rauch); Kunsthalle Giessen; Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig; and David Zwirner, New York. Group exhibitions include Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden; City Art Museum, Helsinki; and Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig. Her work is represented in collections including Deutsche Bank, Leipzig; Commerzbank, Leipzig; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4. For further information, please contact +44 (0)20 7734 7760 or


Sweethearts: Artist Couples, with Gary Hume/Georgie Hopton, Dan Graham/Mieko Meguro, Rem Koolhaas/Madelon Vriesendorp, Richard Wentworth/Jane Wentworth, Antony Gormley/Vicken Parsons, Neo Rauch/Rosa Loy, Ian Davenport/Sue Arrowsmith and Sam Durant/Ana Prvacki, 21 March – 21 April 2012.

Rachel Goodyear: New Works, 27 April – 26 May 2012.

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Rosa Loy
Freie Gedanken 2012
pencil and watercolour on paper
31 x 23 cm, 12.2 x 9.1 in