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Exhibition of large paintings by Neo Rauch opens at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz
German artists Neo Rauch (R) and his wife Rosa Loy pose in front of Rauch's work "Chor" (2011) during a preview of a double exhibition of the couple at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz museum in Chemnitz, eastern Germany. From December 16, 2012 to February 10, 2013, the museum will present simultaneously the show "Gravitation" with works by Rosa Loy and the show "Abwaegung" (consideration) with works by Neo Rauch. AFP PHOTO / HENDRIK SCHMIDT.

CHEMNITZ.- The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz – Museum am Theaterplatz is showing the exhibition Neo Rauch. Abwägung from 16 December 2012 to 10 February 2013. The exhibition includes large paintings by this internationally acknowledged artist dating from the years 2002 to 2012, four of which are being shown in public for the first time: SAL, 2010, Hohe Zeit, Der böse Kranke und Die Abwägung, 2012. The latter are all large-format paintings measuring up to 3 x 5 metres.

In the painting SAL “the depiction of the painter with his tools, the craggy rocks and the sea spray conjure up many different art-historical associations, among them, Jan Vermeer and Arnold Böcklin. As the artist is devoting his attention to empty space, i.e. the white canvas, with his back turned on the danger of (inner) petrifaction – that constantly lurking ghost – the picture becomes an allegory for the power and freedom of painting.” (Sara Tröster Klemm)

The painting Hohe Zeit, with among other things a group of people seated beside a mill wheel apparently celebrating, “tarnishes the image of an ideal world”: “There is no railing that might stop a drunken person from falling into the deep stream. Something uncanny resonates in this painting, especially when the viewer realises just how steep the hill is, how insecure the platform, and how far the drop.” (Sara Tröster Klemm).

What is striking in the painting Der böse Kranke is “the strict division … one half being deserted, the other dominated by men. This contrast would appear to be a reference to the dualism of good and devil, healthy and unhealthy, body and soul, thus also referencing a philosophy that has greatly influenced western culture.” (Sara Tröster Klemm).

“Rauch is interested in ambivalence, the ‘not only but also’ aspect of individual and collective abysses and experiences, and especially their painterly transformation … Rauch’s cool pictorial worlds have an unsettling attraction, as it is difficult for us to locate what is being depicted, spatially or temporally.” (Teresa Ende)

Neo Rauch was born in Leipzig in 1960. He studied at the Leipzig Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst with Professor Arno Rink from 1981 to 1986; he was Professor of Painting and Drawing there from 2005 to 2009 and since then has been an honorary professor.

The exhibition ROSA LOY. Gravitation at the KUNSTSAMMLUNGEN CHEMNITZ – Museum am Theaterplatz is being presented at the same time as the Rauch exhibition, albeit separately. This is the first parallel exhibition by the artist-couple Rosa Loy and Neo Rauch in Germany.

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December 24, 2012

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