Between De Stijl and Bauhaus
Lou Loeber (Louise Maria (Lou) Loeber) was born on May 3, 1894 in Amsterdam. In 1901 her parents moved to Blaricum N.H., where she still lives today. Lou Loeber will be 80 years old next year. At the age of 19 she started to paint. Her own style she found in the early 20s. Lou Loeber comes from a good middle-class background and was – from this origin – from a very young age a very modern man, who took lively part in all intellectual currents of this time. She was already a socialist in the mid-20s and became a member of the “socialist kunstenaarskring” in 1927 when it was founded. Since then she is an active pacifist. From an early age, the young artist was interested in the trends in modern art of her day – for Cubism, the Blue Rider and the Bauhaus. During a visit to Dessau in 1927, the pictures Dessau I and II emerged. Early on she had read the writings of Kandinsky “The spiritual in art” and “point, line to surface”. However, the artist found her spiritual home in the Dutch Stijl group of artists, Mondrian, van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck, as well as the architects Oud and Rietveld, who are closely related to this group. For Lou Loeber, however, in contrast to many Stijl artists, the subject of the pictorial theme was the focus. Only Bart van der Leck – from the group of Stijl artists – finds a parallel to this. Abstraction is an integral part of the art of all time. It can be traced back from the 14th to the end of the 20th century. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that abstraction became the primary theme of art. It becomes a problem “par excellence”. One could almost speak of the collapse of a mathematical element in the otherwise primarily intuitively determined pictorial art. Around 1950, this development reaches the point where abstraction is almost ad absurdum. Good examples are artists like Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana. Surely you have one last artistic statement, but have now come to a point where there is no further step, and what would have led to the destruction – if the young artists had followed them – the panel painting. It is not the place and the space to put the boundaries of abstraction up for discussion – it would be almost identical to the issue of the limits of human freedom in general. The artist Lou Loeber, who with the greatest abstraction preserved an object reference in her pictures and whose artistic conception arose half a century ago, stimulates us to this train of thought.