Lotte Profohs was an Austrian artist, She was born on 16 November 1934 as Lieselotte Cäcilie Profohs in Vienna Austria.
Profohs studied at the Academy of Applied Arts from 1949 at the age of 15, where she also met her later husband Helmut Leherbauer, (Maître) Leherb.
She always described herself as an expressionist with feminist features.
Profohs was already internationally recognised as a graphic artist and painter in the early 1950s; her works were purchased by renowned museums Louvre in Paris in 1958. Respect for her person as a woman, as well as recognition for her work, were very important to her.
Profohs created countless works, most of them have a socially critical background and are designed in black and white. Profohs was concerned with people on the fringes of society and with feminist themes, which were to become stronger especially after an encounter with Simone de Beauvoir.
Marginalised people and women at work
In 1957, Lotte Profohs read the first German edition of the novel "Pitié pour les Femmes" by Henry de Montherlant (1895-1972) The work, published under the title "Mercy on Women" (Erbarmen mit den Frauen) was heavily criticised by Simone de Beauvoir, among others, because it contains many misogynistic statements.
Lotte Profohs was very concerned and outraged by what she had read and created more than 200 drawings on this complex of themes. Abortion, homosexuality, isolation, loneliness and sexualised violence were at the centre of her work.
They are to be understood as a replica of the novel, however the cycle was slightly renamed, "have mercy on women" (Erbarmen mit den Frauen) finally became an appeal: "Have mercy on women"! The book, with an edition of 2500 copies, was deliberately designed very simply so as not to distract from the pictures and their message.
Women's issues were not in demand at that time and were rarely discussed, the oppression of women was part of everyday life. Abandoned and lonely people were excluded from society, women and sexuality, especially women's sexuality, were taboo.
Profohs dedication was to make women visible in their hardships and in their existence. Lotte Profohs' drawings were made spontaneously, without preliminary sketches, the idea developing with each stroke.
Abandoned and lonely people were excluded from society, women and sex, especially the sexuality of women, were taboo subjects that were broken open.
Profohs tried to make women visible in their hardships and in their existence. Lotte Profohs' drawings were created without preliminary sketches, spontaneously, the idea developed with each stroke.
Exclusion and dislimitation of colonised bodies
Profohs dealt with the unwanted, the displaced and the excluded in her last exhibition (1989) during her lifetime, entitled "Emigrants of Time".