Andreas Lutherer began his artistic career at the end of the eighties. From an early time on he had been looking for a medium to express himself artistically that he finally found in photography.
Whereas a motif and its presentation dominated his first photographs, the motifs became less and less important while their presentation became an end in itself. The choice of motifs and the angle in which they were photographed was made depending on the structures of the motifs, as well as on how these structures could be captured in a photograph through the position of the photographer, his photographic skill and artistry and the lens used. While travelling through America, Australia, Africa and Europe he developed and deepened his concept of the presentation of landscapes.
The poetics hidden in the seemingly rigid structures of industrial locations fascinated him in particular. The artist, who lives on the Lower Rhein, found a virtual paradise in his search for motifs in the partially deserted industrial locations of the Ruhr district. It was here that he could develop his concept of reducing a motif to its construction, i.e. to free a motif from its contents.
In order to carry out his ideas traditional photography was no longer enough. At the end of the nineties he turned to painting in order to also present the lyrical components contained in structures and shapes.
During this period Lutherer made his first glass works. Painting behind glass, he reduces a "landscape" to a set pattern that is made up of geometric shapes. This rigid pattern is in turn made into a landscape through the colours given to the pattern. These patterns are fictional rooms that first ten years later gain a direct reference to representationalism. In pictures combined with photographs, such as "Sydney 93" or "Nuernberg 2005", Lutherer develops his structuring of "landscapes" using existing almost naturalistic photographs.
Each glass work is put in a loft frame with space between the glass and the back wall, so that when light is directed at the picture, shadows appear on the back wall. When the viewer changes his angle to the viewed object, the painted pattern on the glass and its corresponding shadow move in a horizontal direction. It was here that the characteristic element of horizontal stripes was developed that is to be found in all of Lutherer’s following works.
Shortly after the glass works, Lutherer started to work on wood and canvas. Here too he painted fictional landscapes made up of a rigid structure and only to be associated with landscapes because of the colouring. Four groups of motifs crystallize in this series of works. Pictures are created that are divided into stripes, arranged into coloured rectangles and woven patterns, and into patterns similar to parquet flooring.
The individual structural segments are horizontally filled with iridescent colours and as a whole bring pictures of landscapes to the minds of the viewers. In pictures such as 03-015 the viewer is reminded of an evening mood at sunset or associates the picture with the Australian outback. Works such as 03-002 appear as a kaleidoscopic separation of light-flooded forest scenes. Lutherer denies the viewer interpretational help in the form of a title for his works. Whereas the glass works have to do entirely without a title, his paintings are numbered and have date of origin.
After this phase of paintings Lutherer finds his way back to photography. The possibilities of photography’s forms of expression still fascinated him even during his predominately painting phase. He works on his photographs until these too, like his paintings, are only colour and structure. The first of these photographs are published in two cycles in 2002: "Hommage an Anna Blume" ("A tribute to Anna Blume"), a portfolio with 7 colour prints, and "Farbe und Struktur" ("Colour and structure"), the programmatic title of the second portfolio with 12 colour prints.
In 2003 the first photographs from the "big installation" are produced using the Diasec® method. The "big installation" is a project of 120 photographs, size 30 x 30 cm, which are all to have been published by 2010. Shown in their entirety in 8 horizontal lines with 15 photographs each, the "big installation" takes up the geometrical arrangement of the set pattern we know from the glass works. Each photograph is an independent artistic piece of work, that, when shown with the other 119 photographs, results in an abstract overall picture the size of 3 x 6 m when hung with a space of 10 cm between each photograph.
For pictures such as „Motu" and „Utah" Lutherer uses several photographs that, when printed together on one photographic paper, result in a colour composition in which the individual segments are no longer detectable. As in the painting of the striped pictures, the effect of the pictures on the viewer is made only by the colouring and its structuring. It is important to Lutherer that, in the photographs developed in the following years, landscape features are no longer detectable. Only through the horizontal structuring of the photographs and a corresponding colouring can associations be made to traditional landscapes, such as in „Salleccia" or „Katama Bay". The title of the picture is all that remains of the landscape photograph and is only a reference to where the photograph was taken.
First in 2005 representational photographs are made, such as "the bathers" and "Sydney" which both appear to be unfamiliar yet have a discernible subject. Structure pure and its dispersion are the central theme of works such as "Katia", 2003, and the series "SP1" – "SP4", 2005, which no longer allow any associations to be made to landscapes. The viewer feels forced to discover something familiar in the structured blend of colours. The connection with Lutherer’s paintings such as 01-014 and 05-001 are obvious. A subject photographed through a kaleidoscope appears before the viewer’s eyes – or at least the outline of its basic structure. Or the viewer tries to find a subject hidden in the superficial horizontal blend of colours or in the background veil of colour in works such as "Do-Bi" and "Aruu".
In the relationship that his pictures build up to viewers, in their inscrutability and intense colourfulness lies the fascination of Lutherer’s works.