Lorena Lohr presents her Desert Nudes series at Future Fair New York

Lorena Lohr presents her Desert Nudes series at Future Fair New York
Lorena Lohr, Girl in Yuma

1st of May, 2024 – 4th of May, 2024
Soho Revue
Chelsea Industrial
535 W 28th Street
Between 10th & 11th Avenue

Soho Revue is delighted to present artist Lorena Lohr and her ongoing series Desert Nudes at the fourth edition of the Future Fair, NYC, from 1-4 May 2024. Primarily known as a photographer, this suite of oils on panel represents an extension of Lohr’s self-taught, dual artistic practice.

Desert Nudes is fundamentally influenced by Lohr’s independent travels on Greyhound buses and railway lines across America. Her extensive trips through the American Southwest inspired Lohr to create a body of work that harmonises the desert landscape with the female form.

Lorena Lohr presents her Desert Nudes series at Future Fair New York
Lorena Lohr, Bar Room Nude

Painted in a muted, dusky palette and at a small scale with delicate verisimilitude, the works recall the intimacy of Northern Renaissance devotional paintings. For Lohr, these pieces commemorate the desert—exploring the concept that this landscape, though rich with life, contrasts sharply with the desolate expanse it often appears to be. The desert is a fertile artistic landscape for Lohr and assumes a central role in her photographic and painting practices.

Arguably, Lohr’s desire to paint directly ties into her photographic work. Often, her handprints are painstakingly finished with dyes and by hand. Her still-life photographic works, especially those depicting buildings and signage, evoke painting qualities in their texture, colour, surface, and composition.

Lorena Lohr presents her Desert Nudes series at Future Fair New York
Lorena Lohr, Girl in Yuma

Forms and lines pattern out from Lohr’s memories of places visited and rooms encountered whilst travelling along the border of Mexico and the southwestern desert towns of North America. A sense of solitude permeates these works, reflective of the conditions and experiences that informed their creation. To teach herself to paint, Lohr transformed a cupboard in her flat into a makeshift studio, where she spent sleepless nights perfecting her painterly language.

Desert Nudes also unearths entrenched machismo associated with the American West. Lohr reclaims the desert from archetypal masculinity, replacing characteristics of the Outlaw, Lone Star, and Cowboy with her imagined female counterparts, elevating them to near-mythological, deity status in their fantastical realm.

Creating works in the traditional technique of oil on panel, Lohr studied and collected reproductions of Northern Renaissance paintings from libraries and second-hand bookshops. As such, the works in Desert Nudes parody defining tropes from this era.

Lohr observes that while Europeans began exploring the Americas in the late fifteenth century, concurrent with the peak of the Northern Renaissance, the American desert regions remained less depicted and were minimally influenced by these European artistic movements. In response, Lohr introduces the concepts and aesthetics of the Northern Renaissance to the ‘new frontier’—a vast, wild, and poetic landscape not previously captured by Northern Renaissance artists.

In Lohr’s works, nude figures shift between being desert mirages, mythological goddesses, and holy apparitions. The traditional Madonna in a domestic setting is replaced by a blue-jean-wearing blonde, encased in the wood panelling of an American bar. The devotional quality of these works is further enhanced by their encasement in reliquary-esque frames made from raw silk. Here, Lohr offers her unique brand of private worship, celebrating the spiritually enduring and mystical realm of the desert.

Lorena Lohr presents her Desert Nudes series at Future Fair New York
Lorena Lohr, Desert Nude on Rocks

Lorena Lohr, Artist said: “I have been riding on buses and trains in America for nearly a decade and half now. The first journey was three days cross-country, from overgrown pinewood forest to the flat Midwest, its wheat-coloured prairies fading to mesas and sagebrush in the desert at sunrise, candied light spreading out to pale blue haze.

These trips were never made alone – they were twined up tight with the lives of other passengers on board… Veterans, stoners, hustlers, drifters, cowboys, ex-prostitutes, convicts just released or out on probation, all took a seat and played a role in each other’s lives… Though it was not my intention when I started to travel, it became vital to me to ride the train with the purpose of photographing these disparate places strung together by the network of railway tracks.”

LORENA LOHR presents her Desert Nudes series from the 1st of May, 2024 until 4th of May, 2024 at at Future Fair New York


©2024 Soho Revue, Lorena Lohr