london

Rosa Loy, Balance, 2011, colored pencil, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 12 1/4 x 9".

Rosa Loy

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Rosa Loy, Balance, 2011, colored pencil, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 12 1/4 x 9".

About a decade ago, a German painter of my acquaintance explained the difference, as he saw it, between himself and the then newly fashionable painters from the former East Germany. “Their work is based

on what they know about painting,” he told me. “Our work is based on what we don’t know.” His quietly dismissive comment was clear enough: The Easterners—mainly the painters of the so-called New Leipzig School—were too enamored of tradition, insufficiently exploratory. Among those often cited as members of the Leipzig School is Rosa Loy; whether or not my friend’s strictures hold against the others, I don’t think his diagnosis can be true of her. Maybe because she didn’t originally train as a painter—Loy studied horticulture, of all things, in Berlin and, later, graphic and book arts in Leipzig—she approaches tradition with a fresh, quizzical, sometimes mocking

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