Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Neo Rauch

I went to see the show this afternoon at Zwirner. Wowee! I think he may be the reincarnated Tintoretto or Titian of this century? There were elements of early George Baselitz (which I love!) here and there too, German stuff I guess. I loved all the blending of contrasts, the indoor and outside spaces, the shifts in scale, and the culture ahistory - people seemingly from different time periods (or timeless) inhabiting the same space, not really interacting but together all the same. The structures in these paintings were so awesomely painted, the doors and windows, railings and stairs. These spots blew me away. And the classic Venetian coloration was spectacular - oil piant. hmmmmm... More contrasts in the natural vs the man-made spaces. I loved all the houseplants here and there - with a renaissance portrait treeline in the background in many too. The foregrounds contained great accumulations of objects, more houseplants, beer cans, etc. Weird people doing odd stuff, strange creatures, loaded but disaffected subject matter. hot/cold. The transitions in these paintings were stunning. I was not terribly interested in constructing a narrative, besides obvious, but there were many beguiling moments to ponder of a more felt-psychological variety. This was my favorite painting (jpg does not do justice):



These paintings contain so many delicious painting tidbits. Really A+.


Afterwards I walked across the street to the Elizabeth Neel show. I don't believe I have met her but she was a resident at the FAWC with a good friend of mine a few years back and I have heard good things about her and her work. revision here: I was confusing elizabeth with victoria neel - so in fact I know nothing at all about this artist or her work/history/etc. Sadly, I was not into this show. Ab Ex revisted, but why? I am sympathetic to this kind of work and there were moments in the paintings - paint handling and coloration that I enjoyed, but I couldn't really access these. They seemed unfocused and from another time. Has anyone else seen the show?

10 comments:

mountain man said...

I did not see it Fairy. But I am glad you did a post on Rauch! He is awesome, skill, invention, paint-handling variation. They are just stunning to look at and they totally transcend the normal gallery going experience. You almost forget where you are. And in spite of the grayness, the workmanlike activity, it does not feel negative or dronelike in his world - it feels light, open, like anything is possible. What a relief. Did you see the Walton Ford? I still have not seen it yet.

fairy butler said...

no. i will try to visit walton tomorrow. i have a feeling it will have problems. will see.

fairy butler said...

Right. i did not see any drones or real "workers" like I expected from reading reviews. In one painting the top is this beautiful gray expanse - so lovely. the color in these was delicious/real.

mountain man said...

Yeah, the people just seem busy, with their minds occupied by what they are doing or thinking - kind of an existential situation but not in an angst-ridden way. I was so excited by his painterly invention and the ease with which he can seemingly dash off a tree, a bunch of branches, or a grill or a radiator. So much knowledge of the underlying structures of things, but never academic feeling.

fairy butler said...

his figures are mostly about separate minds, yes. serve existential/psychological pupose, not about looks or description but fundamental examination of human state of longing or society. I like the mental states. all kinds.

PD said...

I loved this show too. I found it hard to sense the emotional state of the people in the paintings though. But I liked the openess of that and the suggestion of narrative without spelling anything out so rigidly.

fairy butler said...

exactly, the "emotional states" are not dramaticized or described but left blank. I find more meaning in this space as it is a more accurate depiction i think of modern headspace. is good. i like art about thinking, but not conceptual work, blank thinking.

fairy butler said...

conceptual work is fine, no slag on it necessarily, i just apprectiate the odd poeticism of the neo rauch.

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