Neo Rauch: Aus dem Boden / From the Floor
Texts by by Brett Littman and Jeff Fleming. Interview with the artist by Ena Swansea
Neo Rauch: Aus dem Boden / From the Floor reproduces the first exhibition entirely devoted to his drawings in the United States. Neo Rauch is one of the best-known artists from the Leipzig school in Germany. His psychologically complex paintings have been widely collected and written about for more than twenty years. Featuring more than one hundred fifty never or rarely seen works that span over thirty years of Rauch’s career, this catalogue presents drawing as an essential but often overlooked aspect of his oeuvre. A collaboration between The Drawing Center and the Des Moines Art Center, the show was presented first in Des Moines in 2018.
The drawings, which Rauch describes as “dreams on paper,” are made during periods of intense painting activity and are left on the floor of the studio for his assistant to pick up and place in flat files for storage. Rauch, who never makes preparatory sketches or drawings before he begins painting, uses the medium instead to mine his own subconscious and to visualize characters and scenarios for the works in progress. His drawings range from thumbnail compositional sketches for paintings, to phone doodles, figure and landscape studies, and to more formal and completed works.
Publisher: The Drawing Center
Artists: Neo Rauch
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in | 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Reproductions: 187 color
Neo Rauch’s paintings are characterized by a unique combination of realism and surrealist abstraction. In many of his compositions, human figures engaged in manual labor or indeterminable tasks work against backdrops of mundane architecture, industrial settings, or bizarre and often barren landscapes. These figures, though squarely centered in his paintings, often have the appearance of being part of still lifes devoid of a human presence or collaged elements belonging to different time zones. Scale is frequently arbitrary and non-perspectival, which adds to an overall dreamlike atmosphere; the spatial relationships construct their own imaginary realm.