Artwork of the month January

Verena Loewensberg, Untitled, 1948, Hilti Art Foundation

Verena Loewensberg

* 1912 in Zurich, † 1986 in Zurich, Switzerland

Untitled, 1948

Oil on canvas
88 x 60 cm
Hilti Art Foundation, Schaan


Verena Loewensberg always felt an affinity with the "language of geometry", which led to her connection, while commuting between Zurich and Paris, with Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo. Both artists were important sources of inspiration. Although she was later associated with the so-called Concrete artists in Zurich – not only Max Bill but also Camille Graeser, Richard Paul Lohse and others – she felt that the term "concrete", as defined by Theo van Doesburg in 1930, did not apply to her work; she preferred to describe it as "constructive". For her, the constructive language of geometry was always related to "mood" and therefore to feelings.

Loewensberg would begin with a preliminary study on graph paper, which she transferred to scale to the primed canvas. She then painted both shapes and background without the use of masking tape, wielding her paintbrush with great precision, applying colour after colour, layer after layer until she had achieved a seemingly homogeneous picture plane whose material quality was a consequence of both painting technique and the oil of the binder.

In her untitled painting of 1948, with its clearly visible pencil lines and pinpricks caused by transferring the study to the canvas, Loewensberg combines rectangular stripes and fields in an orthogonal composition. Bands of grey, orange, purple, yellow, blue, red and green, each doubled on a white ground, are separated from top to bottom by bands or fields of black. In this way, black and white as well as all the colours and their complements are represented in the painting. The delicately balanced composition leaves ample room for the white ground and extends only partially to the edge of the picture plane, making the whole seem light and floating. Verena Loewensberg placed each of her shapes and colours with compelling, almost inexorable cogency, and yet they are delightfully casual in their interaction.

Uwe Wieczorek


"I have no theory, I am dependent on things that occur to me." 
Verena Loewensberg


<b>Verena Loewensberg, Untitled, 1948, Hilti Art Foundation</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.