“There are as many women as there are reasons to paint them,” says German artist, Rosa Loy. One of the few female artists associated with the so-called New Leipzig School, Loy blends exquisite technical skills with pseudo-fairytales, social realism and boundless imagination to create a unique body of work in which women are the protagonists.
Born in Zwickau, Germany, in 1958, Loy first studied and worked in horticulture before completing a BFA and MFA at the Academy of Visual Art in Leipzig. This background — “a fairly pantheistic world view,” as she describes it — is evident in her paintings, where physical surroundings often impact on the characters portrayed. In Loy’s intimate narratives, women interact with an increasingly complex universe, shaping their world through a huge range of different encounters. Loy works largely with casein paint, a milk-protein derivative that is extremely brittle once it sets; this traditional medium lends an energetic quality to her canvases.
Described by Sotheby’s Kathy Battista as among “the most creative couples in art,” Rosa Loy and her partner of over 30 years, Neo Rauch — a leading figure in contemporary figurative painting — both recognise the influence of each other’s work, and have exhibited together on various occasions. Loy has also hosted solo shows in Germany, USA, Korea and the UK, and her paintings are held by prestigious collections including MOMA, New York; MOCA, Los Angeles and the Deutsche Bank Collection.