Leipzig painter Neo Rauch has an international presence through his paintings – but his drawings have a home in the small town of Aschersleben.
Ten years ago, near the Harz Mountains, where Rauch grew up with his grandparents, he and the city founded the Neo Rauch Graphic Foundation. The 62-year-old is now giving a copy of his graphic prints as a gift. Since Wednesday, the Graphic Foundation has been presenting all of the artist’s publications for the first time under the title “New Rauch. Collection of Prints and Publications since 1988”.
A construction worker builds castles in the air
There are about 150 lithographs, engravings, and screen prints from the Foundation’s collection, new collectibles, loans, and previously rarely shown on papers from the early years. “I’m actually not a painter, I’m a painter. And what you see here is an accessory, something created next to the big paintings,” Rauch said Wednesday at Aschersleben.
All the drawers have been opened to collect the works, said Rauch. But there are also completely new graphics in the gallery. “For a few months now, a builder has been haunting my work, a day laborer, dressed in white and equipped with a shovel, and seems to be building castles in the air.” He has no base and he has to balance on balls that are floating somewhere anywhere.
Neo Rauch interprets the figure as follows: “It probably has something to do with the free-space actor, which I also see as a painter. I also create castles in the air in front of me and have to make sure that somehow they are in balance and everything is on uncertain ground.” And at the same time it seems to me that it is a metaphor for our existence par excellence, at the moment.”
The best is yet to come
The exhibition extends from early papers from the years 1988 to 1993, some of which were created at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig, to drafts for posters, illustrations, book covers and New Year’s papers.
Ten years ago, Neu Rauch said at Aschersleben: “I am still in the late adulthood of my artwork. The best is yet to come.” Asked about it on Wednesday, the 62-year-old said: “I don’t want to pretend I grew up in these 10 years.” And: “The retirement age can’t be clearly defined here, the moment you put on your hunting jacket and do nothing more than what was important before. Well, maybe he’s not here yet, I guess.”
The exhibition will run at the Neo Rauch Aschersleben Graphic Foundation until April 28, 2024. According to the foundation, 49,500 visitors have come since the first exhibition began in 2012. Among other things, works by Neu Rauch have been hung alongside those of his wife Rosa Lowe and those of his father Hanno Rauch, who died young man. (dpa)