VERENA LOEWENSBERG

b. 1912 – d. 1986 Zurich, Switzerland

 

Verena Loewensberg began her studies at the Basel trade school in 1927 where she was introduced to design and colour theory, then went on to a weaver apprenticeship as well as training in dance and choreopgraphy; the echoes of these disciplines can all be found in her work as an artist.

 

Between 1934 and 1936 Loewensberg visited Paris several times often accompanied by Max Bill, with whom she had a close lifelong friendship and who introduced her to the artists of the group ‘Abstraction-Création‘; Hans Arp, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Theo van Doesburg, as well as Georges Vantongerloo who had a lasting effect on her work. As of 1936 she belonged to the Swiss avant-garde, while after the war she became known as the only female artist of the small circle of the "Zurich Concrete", with Max Bill, Richard Paul Lohse and Camille Graeser. 

 

Although her work is fundamentally constructive in nature, it was also imbued with great freedom, poetry and musicality. Loewensberg worked with visual elements that seem contradictory: her work contains circular shapes, cloud forms, irregular pentagons and sharp and obtuse angles, as well as colours that the strict constructivists who only worked in primary colours would deem unacceptable. Obsessed with visual problems, she solved them with a clear and precise attitude, suppressing any handwritten trace on the canvas.

 

From the sixties onwards, her work is of an independence and autonomy that eludes classification. She created an extensive series of reduced, purely coloured compositions that tackle the problem of figure and reason repeatedly, as well as radically reduced, purely linear black and white compositions finding barring at the time of colour field painting, conceptual painting and minimalism.