Neo Rauch: The Dream of Reason

His enigmatic, equivocal paintings require a long look to fully appreciate the complexity of their composition, their play on scale and the abundance of symbols. They weave unexpected links between periods and places, between history and the present, and draw on skilful references to the Italian Renaissance, German Romanticism and Socialist Realism. Neo Rauch invents a painting 'like a dream' that interweaves scenes and allusions, offering the viewer a wide range of open-ended reflections on history, heritage, the power of art, the role of the artist and the impasses of contemporary society. 

In keeping with the ambition of the event, the exhibition at MO.CO. brings together hundreds of works by the artist, including over forty canvases, many of them of impressive size. Entitled Le songe de la raison (The Dream of Reason), after Goya's engraving El sueño de la razon produce monstruos (The Dream of Reason Produces Monsters), from which Neo Rauch sometimes drew inspiration, this retrospective retraces the painter's singular career from the early 1990s to the present day. After a vast selection of drawings and watercolours spanning the period from 1990 to 2021, the retrospective unfurls on the three floors of the MO.CO. an ensemble of major canvases borrowed from numerous foreign collectors and museums, never before exhibited in France.  

This original, carefully produced work is the first French-language publication on Neo Rauch, and includes an interview with the artist and around sixty selected works.


Publisher: MOCO

Artists: Neo Rauch

Publication Date: 2023

Binding: Softcover

Dimensions: 24.5 × 30 cm

Pages: 136

ISBN: 9782363063403

Retail: $35 | €30

Status: Available

Neo Rauch

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.

All Neo Rauch books