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Neo Rauch in New York

  • Neo Rauch in New York
October 30, 2014

In the recent period, we have devoted a part of our feature articles to German artists. During the last Frieze Art Fair as well as the Phillips Contemporary Art Evening, we were able to witness a strong presence of German artists within the international art market (read more about this topic in our article German Painters in London). Things are not much different when it comes to the arena of street art (for more, read our article 10 German Artists). In the coming week, we will be able to witness a body of work from yet another inspiring German artist. Neo Rauch is coming to David Zwirner in New York City…

Neo Rauch in New York
Neo Rauch, Revo, 2010

The Art of Neo Rauch

Born in 1960 in Leipzig, where he finished his education in arts, Rauch is part of a generation influenced by the cultural context of a divided Germany and a divided continent. It is important to understand that the Berlin wall had been, in many cases, an impenetrable barrier for certain art movements and that the connotation of creating within Eastern Germany was deeply influenced by this instance. Just as the artist was entering the third decade of his life, the transformation within his creative process and his aesthetics had become noticeable. The art of Neo Rauch echoes a particular and very much intriguing synthesis of realism and surrealist abstraction. The backgrounds, which serve as settings for his characters (human figures occupied with mundane tasks), often resonate barren landscapes, industrial environment or monotonous architecture. Utilizing the frequent shifts in scale and seemingly arbitrary perspectives, the artist manages to convey a message of different planes of existence.

Neo Rauch in New York
Neo Rauch, artwork (detail)

The Practice of Neo Rauch

What exactly hides behind the visual language of the artist? Although this represents a complex question, there are aspects of Rauch’s practice upon which we could shed some light. For example, the collage-like approach provides a possibility for the artist to “insert” a particular scene within the main composition. Through this kind of approach, the artist can explore and express the distinct relations between these “two images.” On the other hand, as it can be deduced through a simplified contextual analysis, in the piece titled (in its English translation) “Guardian of the Night” there is a representation of symbolism reflecting the context of transition. Thus, the artist investigates a universal concept through a visual language depicting human interaction in a meticulously constructed situation. These instances are something that continues to be a focus of attention for the artist’s fork in the upcoming show.

Neo Rauch in New York
Neo Rauch, artwork (segment)

At the Well Exhibition

The painting “Am Brunnen”, a title which translates At the Well in English, transpires to the name of the entire exhibition. This piece conveys a message of non-verbal communication, as the characters, despite their spatial proximity, present themselves as strangers. It is quite exciting to see how the artist emanates his inspirational visual language through the thought-provoking usage of color patterns as well as perspective. At David Zwirner 19th Street, in New York, in the period between November 6th and December 20th 2014, the public will have a chance to experience small and large format paintings by artist Neo Rauch and admire the body of work included in the At the Well exhibition.

Neo Rauch in New York
Neo Rauch, Der Rückzug, 2006