Materials: mixed media; wood, rope
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Donated by Isi Fiszman (Inv. no. S0576_2).
The attraction and dynamism of water and rivers in particular - the Rhine in his native town of Düsseldorf and the Scheldt in his second home city of Antwerp - have had a major impact on the work of Bernd Lohaus. In the mid-1960s, the artist began to haunt abandoned shipyards in the harbour. In addition to wooden beams, he also found thick ropes there, which he adapted and used in his sculptures in a variety of ways. Lohaus made most of the rope works between 1966 and 1968.
In the piece dating from 1966, the different elements are determined by their fundamental properties: mass, gravity, tension and load-bearing capacity. Thus, a dynamic emerges from the relationship between the various parts of the sculpture. In the work dating from 1967-1968, rope and wood create a whole in terms of form. The rope connects two wooden beams, which are completely enveloped by them. Since the ends of the rope seem to merge with the sculpture, a suggestion of infinity emerges.
The notion of connection is a recurring theme throughout Lohaus' oeuvre and is strongly present in the works with ship's rope. The properties of the rope itself - made up of different strands that are interwoven with each other - and its function to connect different elements with each other are consistent with this. The works that combine wooden components with rope create a connection between seemingly contradictory concepts: transience and robustness; weightlessness and gravity.
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The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public