EX VOTO - I Believe in Miracles

Vera Loos
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With her exhibition "EX VOTO - I Believe in Miracles" at the Cultural site Wintringer Chapel in 2023, artist Vera Loos refers to the so-called votive offerings or votive tablets (derived from the medieval term vovere = "geloben"), which are left at the sites of veneration of saints to this day.

These serve as a vow or also as a sign of thanks for a longed-for or unforeseen rescue from an emergency. Votive images are usually provided with a written reference, which is called ex voto (Latin: because of a vow).

Votive tablets certainly already had a place in the medieval Wintringer Priory Church and later chapel in a variety of designs. Unfortunately, none of these artifacts have survived.

The votive tablets of Vera Loss want to teach us that it is possible to reactivate seemingly perished rituals and missions of a formerly sacred place and to mediate between past and present.

The installation consists of four individual works that can be seen at selected positions and are related to each other.

I. Living Worlds

In the arched field of the walled west portal is a square mural consisting of 16 individual motifs (30 x 30 cm, acrylic on wood).

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Each of the motifs is based on a title freely chosen by Vera Loos from Elias Canetti's "Der Ohrenzeuge". In the broadest sense, all motifs reflect life worlds within contemporary secular society.

II. love and pain

A red square is placed next to the Gothic arch segment of the walled portal to the sacristy.

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The color field thematizes the close space between love and pain, which resonates in all of the artist's motifs. She wants to express that the pain belongs to the essence of love and must be risked.

Only through this is it possible to open up and become capable of true love towards people, nature and probably also the divine in general.

III. uncle P. learns to fly

To the right of the east window of the former choir, above the wall brackets on which the figures of saints once stood, a panel painting is displayed (180 x 120 cm, acrylic on canvas). This positioning is reminiscent of the medieval murals with biblical motifs in ceiling paintings and on the walls of Gothic churches that captivate visitors. Fragments of such murals were discovered during the archaeological investigations on site.

Innenansicht der Wintringer Kapelle + Tafelbild mit Mann an unüberwindlichem Abgrund

The panel painting shows a man standing before a seemingly insurmountable abyss. The man seems to be in a fundamentally existential situation, at a crossroads where he must make a choice:

Resignation? Reversal? Standstill? Complete change of direction? Turning away from his previous life? The title of the picture "Uncle P. learns to fly" wants to convey confidence in this difficult situation in life. It wants to say that we humans are held, and that in life certainly miracles happen.

It comes from a novella by the Israeli writer Ja'akov Shabtai, which tells of a man who, at an advanced age, falls in love and suddenly becomes aware of himself. And by beginning to love himself, recognizes the beauty of creation.... And although love is not lived in the story, through it he has learned what a gift pure existence is, how wondrous and precious the nature that surrounds us, how wondrous life itself....

Uncle P. stands at the threshold and takes off.

Vera Loos about her work

IV. Ex voto - Rainer Maria Rilke

Next to the entrance of the chapel on a pedestal are displayed two volumes of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, whose book covers were painted by Vera Loos. The images refer to the enclosed poem "Ex voto" written by him, whose poetic power permeates the theme of the installation.

Zwei bemalte Buchdeckel von Rilke Gedichtbänden

The Insel Verlag book series with its strikingly designed covers has been around since 1912, and its founder Anton Kippenberg already had some editions personally designed by artists such as Max Slevogt and Henry van de Velde. Rainer Maria Rilke was the most important author of the house, to whom volume 1 of the consecutively numbered series, now comprising more than 2000 volumes, was dedicated.

Referring to the place, the artist has painted one of the book covers with a pilgrim and the star pointing him the way to knowledge. The motif is reminiscent of the search movement of the medieval pilgrims of St. James, who at that time followed the Milky Way as a cosmic signpost to Santiago de Compostela. Further background: www.sternenweg.net

In keeping with the theme of the exhibition, the second cover of the book shows a man humbly raising his arms: ECCE HOMO - "SEE, THE MAN".


Impressions from the vernissage at the opening of the exhibition.

Short vita Vera Loos

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1955Born in Saarlouis
Studied applied linguistics, art history and German language and literature at Saarland University
Member of the board of the BBK Saarland
Member of the Saarländisches Künstlerhaus
Member of the Art Commission of the City of Saarbrücken
Member of the Saarland Art Advisory Board
Curator of the Burbach Cultural Association
Curator of the Kleinblittersdorf Historical Town Hall
Represented in private and public collections in Germany and abroad


2023SaarArt, City Gallery Saarbrücken
2022Imagine, collective exhibition, Centre Culturel St. Max, Nancy
2021There's more to the picture than meets the eye..., solo exhibition, Kulturverein Burbach, Saarbrücken
2020Nie verässt ich gern den Hügelring, joint exhibition of the BBK Saarland, Bosener Mühle, Sommersalon, Bosen
2019Art connects all the world, joint exhibition, Pasinger Kulturfabrik, Munich
2018Man does not live by bread alone, joint exhibition of the BBK Saarland, Saarbrücken
2017Because art is a daughter of freedom, collective exhibition Pasinger Fabrik, Munich
2017Single exhibition, Union Foundation, Saarbrücken
2017Community exhibition, Cloître des Récollets, Metz
2016Single exhibition, Scheer Tower, Campus of Saarland University, Saarbrücken
2016Human Forsakenness, collective exhibition, Old Town Hall Saarwellingen, Saarwellingen
2016Communal exhibition of the BBK Saarland, Arthouse Neunkirchen, Neunkirchen
2015Something is happening here but I don't know what it is, Solo exhibition, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern
2015China International Watercolor Biennial Exhibition, Biennale, Qingdao Art Museum, Qingdao City, PR China
2014La Mandroseraie, collective exhibition, Mandray Art Association, France
2014Palazzo Borgo, temporary art space in the neighborhood, Saarbrücken
2013LichtBild, collective exhibition, Saarbrücken
2012paintings, sculptures, installations in the castle Quint, collective exhibition, castle Quint, Trier


Vera Loos, Guerickestraße 32, D-66123 Saarbrücken
Studio: Am Homburg 3, 66123 Saarbrücken
Tel. 0049 178 347 99 70, vera@veraloos.de