December 4, 2003 - Saint Louis Art Museum - Currents 90: Neo Rauch
December 4, 2003

Currents 90: Neo Rauch

Neo Rauch
Currents 90: Neo Rauch

12/12/2003 - 15/02/2004

Saint Louis Art Museum
1 Fine Arts Drive
Forest Park
St. Louis, MO 63110

Image: Einfall, 2001; oil on canvas; 82 11/16 x 118 1/8 inches; Marc and Livia Straus Family Collection; 2003 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Saint Louis Art Museum is pleased to present works by Neo Rauch as part of its Currents series on contemporary art. Rauch, who lives and works in Leipzig, Germany, has emerged as one of Europe’s leading painters. His large-scale figurative paintings mine art and cultural history for subject matter, creating narratives that defy literal interpretation. While Rauch acknowledges that using familiar imagery and symbols is inescapable in figurative work, he minimizes overt references by passing these visual elements through the transformative filter of his imagination.

Rauch’s canvases are populated with visions of labor, workers manipulating amorphous tools and strange hybrids of animals and machines. Some of Rauch’s paintings have an absurdist quality, such as Hausmeister, 2002, in which a child and a caretaker look on while a school mistress points sternly toward a geological map. Old-fashioned notions of the future pervade other works, such as Einfall, 2001, which references comic books and science fiction films from the 1950s and 1960s. Rauch’s jarring palette, with colors ranging from chalky yellows to astringent reds to deep black, heightens the eerie quality of these works.

Neo Rauch’s work was featured in the 2001 Venice Biennale and he won the Vincent van Gogh Biannual Award for Contemporary Art in Europe in 2002. A major exhibition of Rauch’s paintings will open at the Albertina Museum in Vienna in 2004. Currents 90: Neo Rauch is the artist’s first solo exhibition in an American museum.

Currents 90: Neo Rauch was organized by Robin Clark, associate curator of contemporary art. The exhibition is on view December 12, 2003, through February 15, 2004.

Saint Louis Art Museum
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