Renate von Löwis of Menar Textile Art & Textile Design
Renate von Löwis of Menar, hand weaver from Hamburg, has a special eye for unusual arrangements.
Be it her "LOVE patches" or her "pearl dog", she has the necessary sense of humor for quirky details.
In her almost anachronistic work at the loom, she produces modern, unusual tapestries and other textile works with surprising color combinations and designs. There are bright, almost garish color plays as well as monochrome restrained designs. But they always challenge our visual habits.
The artistic works of Renate von Löwis of Menar, unlike the interior designs, are usually created without drafts directly on the loom from the impulses that result from close observation of the environment and many years of experience with the material wool. "Everything happens, nothing is planned through" and "There is nothing that cannot be done" are her guiding principles.
Renate von Löwis of Menar was influenced by two things in particular, her intense study and involvement with the Bauhaus and her love for haute couture. The first a symbol of simplicity and function, the second an expression of exuberant imagination and creativity.
Her interior designs emerge from this field of tension. Renate von Löwis of Menar does without the computer when designing and draws by hand; especially when it comes to color nuances, a digital way of working is not very satisfying in her opinion. She does not follow any short-term fashion trend with her work, but likes it timeless.
Her designs are "eye-catchers" that, once transformed into a rug, a pillowcase, a wall hanging, achieve even more: the urgent impulse to touch the respective piece. Depending on the yarn, the haptic perception can be very different.
Renate von Löwis of Menar lives and works in St. Pauli, the heart of Hamburg, she finds. "The neighborhood here is extraordinarily inspiring. I live in a small village in the center of a big city."
She stages her working atmosphere with a wide variety of music, depending on the mood. For years, she accompanied international bands across Europe as a tour manager. The inspiration from these travels can still be seen in her designs today.
Renate von Löwis of Menar emphasizes that she deals with colors every day. She paints, draws, sews, weaves and designs. "In a matter of seconds, I can fall in love with color combinations that I notice in the city or even in nature. I immediately process them at home in a drawing and thus have a huge archive of extraordinary color combinations, from which I am always inspired to create new works."
Renate von Löwis of Menar sees herself primarily as an artist and designer who is fortunate enough to be able to directly realize her ideas through her mastery of her craft.
Her tapestries refer to traditional knotting techniques, which she interprets in a very modern way. For example, she uses a 2000-year-old knot, the Ghiordes knot, which she combines with flat weaves. This creates her very own visual language with its three-dimensionality.
Since 2011, Renate von Löwis of Menar has exhibited her work in various cities, such as Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Brussels, Braunschweig, Bielefeld, Stuttgart and Melbourne.
Interview with the artist Renate von Löwis of Menar
Do you have any textile training?
I trained as a hand weaver.
How did your enthusiasm for weaving come about?
When I was 16, I visited an arts and crafts market where, among other things, a hand weaver documented the path from freshly shorn wool to the finished product. That impressed me so much that from then on I knew what I wanted to do professionally in the future.
Bauhaus is a source of inspiration for you. Tell us about it.
The inspiration I draw from Bauhaus is primarily the colorfulness. I love those old, rich colors. But of course, practicality also plays a big role. Sometimes "a lot more is more" and then again "less is more". Understanding this and putting it into practice must have taken 30 years of my creative career...
Published in textile art magazine on July 15, 2019.
Read the full interview (in German) here.
Nothing new to report at the moment. Workshops can be found in the category Workshops.
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On her Instagram account RvLoM Renate von Löwis of Menar presents her latest work.