As his early carved sculptures show, Bernd Lohaus is rooted in the sculptural tradition of working with wood and stone, which lived on through artists from Ewald Mataré to Joseph Beuys right up until the 1960s. Instead of carving and hewing the material, however, Lohaus processed it by means of making succinct interventions in the rough beams in ways that charged them with expressive tension. Lohaus, who worked in Antwerp, found his material – wooden beams and ropes – at the port. Rolling, unrolling and knotting ropes are acts that result in a visible structure. As a supporting element, the rope takes on its form through its interaction with wooden loads.
For Lohaus, the task of sculpture meant working with the material – propping, leaning or stacking beams that were not affixed to one another, but loosely combined. The beams lie side by side or on top of one another, or are propped against a wall. Lohaus gave careful consideration to their position and to the point at which they engaged with the space. The wedge-shaped pieces are crucial; slipped under a beam to lift it slightly so that its weight would become tangible, creating a fragile situation. Lohaus would often add individual words to his sculptures to create linguistic relations between elements. Through the subtlety of detail in his sculptures, it becomes clear how he also found an adequate means of expression for his attentive eye in his watercolours of flowers.
Using pallets, slatted crates and cardboard boxes, Lohaus created model-like sculptures in which both the form and the material were fixed by wax. Two bronze-cast pallets are displayed in the outdoor space. Here, too, there is a wayside sculpture made of stones that have been minimally hewn and which instead take on their meaning through their positioning and the words chiselled into them.