Leunora Salihu

Lothar Fischer Award 2017

June 17, 2018 – October 7, 2018

Introduction: Dr. Thomas Heyden
Neues Museum Nuremberg

In 2017, Leunora Salihu, born in 1977 in Prishtina in Kosovo, received the endowed Lothar Fischer Prize with a focus on contemporary sculpture. This prize, awarded every second year since 2005 by the Lothar & Christel Fischer Foundation and the City of Neumarkt, is associated with an exhibition in the following year.

Leunora Salihu, who now lives and works in Düsseldorf, studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prishtina before fleeing to Germany in 1999.

She began her studies with German, art history and free art in Kiel, then went to the Art Academy in Düsseldorf and became a master student of Prof. Tony Cragg.

Leunora Salihu's works are situated in a field of tension between abstraction and figurativeness. They bear witness to the artist´s excellent feeling for form paired with a technically elaborate and at the same time intuitively guided handling of different materials such as wood, metal, gypsum, multiplex panels, ceramics and plastics. Her creations reveal an enormous knowledge of materials and a very special formal language. Although Salihu´s works are strictly and clearly designed, they appear light and playful at the same time due to the lively variety of shapes and materials and sizes.

The same intensive examination of space and form can be seen in the ink drawings, which are created parallel to the sculptures.

Propeller shows an unusual combination of material: Layered MDF panels are contrasted with a fragile, open-work ceramic form that takes up the rotational movement of a propeller like the wooden plates do.

In Urknall (Big Bang), an almost five-metre long and over two-metre high body of space, the sculptor also unites contrasts such as lightness and heaviness, standstill and movement or interior and exterior space. This is particularly evident in the two different round shapes. Big Bang is a work full of tension, which, however, seems to be resting within itself.

Welle (Wave) evinces an impressive interplay between square wooden panels and organic-looking green ceramic elements. In a repeating vertical stratification, different shape segments are built up into a column. What is interesting is that the artist does not design the wave horizontally but vertically. "I am looking for something supertemporal in form and material, paired with temporal aspects of movement. It appeals to me to condense such contrasts in a clear picture," says Leunora Salihu in an interview.

After solo exhibitions at the K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf, at Galerie Thomas Schulte Berlin and at Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, among others, Museum Lothar Fischer is now showing objects and drawings by the prize-winner, who convinced the jury of experts with her independent and sustainable artistic imagery.

Thanks is owed to the suggestion committee of the Lothar Fischer Prize 2017:

Prof. Axel Heil, Staatl. Akademie der bildenden Künste (State Academy of Fine Arts) Karlsruhe; Dr. Eva Huttenlauch, Städt. Galerie am Lenbachhaus Munich; Dr. Nicole Fritz, Kunsthalle Tübingen; Dr. Thomas Heyden, Neues Museum Nuremberg; Werner Wohlhüter, gallerist; Stefan Rohrer, Lothar Fischer Prize Winner 2015.

We would also like to thank the decision-making committee, consisting of the Executive Board and the Board of Trustees of the Lothar & Christel Fischer Foundation. Chairwoman of the jury: Marie-José van de Loo.