Interview Studio Visit / Galerie Rudolf Leeb

Repeatedly changing her working environment has been central for the artist Lavinia Lanner who changed atelier five times during the past two years.

She currently works in one of the studios of dasweissehaus and just recently moved into her new room where we got to visit her.
Galerie Rudolf Leeb: Would you say those repeated changes of your working environment have a positive effect as well?

Lavinia Lanner: It definitely has something positive. After all, there have always been stays abroad and Artist-in-Residence projects and adjusting to new situations and working environments has always been inspiring to me, just like the people you meet along with it.
The work on my drawings is very intimate, something that, in early stages, only concerns myself, thus I am happy that the environment allows a bit of openness and expansion and involves other people as well. Changing places and creating new spaces for myself is an essential part of my work routine.

Although Lavinia Lanner studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, her artistic work always consisted of drawing.
Nevertheless, the painting environment was an important influence for the artist who likes the presence of artists using this technique in the adjoining rooms and the smell of turpentine that comes along with it.
Galerie Rudolf Leeb: Are you working on several artworks at the same time or are you always concentrating on one only?

Lavinia Lanner: If the room allows it, I work on several papers at the same time. For example, I’m going to add a second big format here, because it’s good if I can walk around a bit between the works. This way, the risk of each one becoming too full or too dark is rather low.
Right now, I’m just beginning to get to know this room a little bit more. On the walls, for example, you can see shadows of formats of the previous artist that I find very beautiful and actually do not want to paint over. I’m trying to figure out what the characteristics of this room are, what has been here before, and how it can work for me right now.
Apart from the storage area, my studio is rather empty at the moment because I have done a lot of research and reading over the last few days and weeks. I’m currently trying to get a broader view about the art-related environment I am part of – art world, art market, institutions as well as my individual practice, intrinsic processes and characteristics of my work in the studio.
“Some drawings may look spontaneous but in reality, my works of art are meticulously constructed and hardly any coincidence is allowed.” — Lavinia Lanner

Lavinia’s drawing material exclusively consists of a pencil and although she has a passion for erasers and collected them in her childhood, for her, their use in artistic works is forbidden.
Galerie Rudolf Leeb: Why do you consistently work with the pencil and especially the 3B pencil?

Lavinia Lanner: Almost from the very beginning, I have been taking the pencil for my drawings. The specific hardness 3B is central to my work and I’ve been using it for some time now. With it, I have found the perfect pencil: it is not too soft, so that the dark parts turn out black, almost carbon-like, I prefer when it is grey or graphite-colored. In addition, it is not too hard so that it could carve into the paper. The 3B pencil is ideal for this and somehow it has become a kind of a fetish over time. My material in general is very important and sacred to me.

Photos and interview: Eva Keller for Galerie Rudolf Leeb