Nordic Tales, the first UK solo exhibition of works by Swedish artist Herman Lohe, opens at Fiumano Clase on 10 May 2019. The exhibition will feature recently completed paintings by the artist as well as works which span the artist's creative career.
Lohe is a multidisciplinary artist who identifies nature as his primary muse. His often disconcerting yet serene landscapes invite the observer to ponder their relationship with the natural world and universe. Throughout his twenty-five years as a practicing artist he has continued to explore and variously employ "classical" painting, installations and video art.
Nordic Tales draws upon the Scandinavian nostalgia and 'noir' that is recognised in popular culture. Moving beyond this evocation of nostalgia reveals, however, the work of an artist who often surrounds himself with the landscapes he reveals to us. The exhibition's titular painting was begun in situ in Lohe's Swedish studio, following a long-established Scandinavian tradition of painting from nature in nature. Completion of the work followed in his UK studio - when Lohe had finalised the poetic depths of Nordic Tales which perhaps can only happen at a distance - fuelled by a certain sense of longing.
The artist describes his creative process as being "about constantly making decisions and having the view that each brush stroke is equally important. Every layer of paint and touch must have a nerve. The handling of the medium is just as important as the motives."
The video installation Dies Irae (which refers to a 13th century poem previously quoted by Sir Walter Scott and Oscar Wilde) allows Lohe to express the sensitivity of the natural environment through nature's own brush strokes. The video itself is pure, in allowing the landscape and its dawn awakening to speak for itself.
Lohe's work is informed by a profound understanding of the relationship between humanity and nature. In his paintings we can trace an exploration of not only Nordic Tales but universal stories. Paintings and video works are imbued with an observation of lifecycles that are undeniably Nordic in their tones.
The emotional connection between nature and body is an important topic for Lohe. There is a symbiotic relationship between the viewer and the artist's chosen media, creating an experience of emotional exchange. Lohe believes in the positive impact of nature on people, and the power it has to heal body and mind. "We have probably all felt it when walking in a forest: or sitting by the sea," he says, "It has a calming effect that clears the mind."