Die Mitte is a survey of Rauch's most recent paintings, combined with a special category from his early work - the series of tondi he made in 1993 and 1994.
In the 1990s, Neo Rauch conquered the art world with his figurative paintings. At the time, his paintings fell outside the box of contemporary art: they were neither abstract nor conceptual. His fondness for comics, his descent from the GDR and the curiosity-inducing, elusive nature of his storylines further enhance the Rauch Riddle. He is a prominent pioneer of the great return of figuration within the visual arts, and with and because of him Leipzig gained an international reputation as a city of painters.
Neo Rauch moves through time, resisting precisely its linear passage. He unhesitatingly connects times, meanings, styles and motifs into a deeply personal universe. His paintings are mythical and at the same time intensely realistic worlds, unstable and full of turmoil, giving rise to endless interpretations. As a viewer, Rauch invites you to relate to his paintings in a deeply personal way. Once you have entered his world you lose your grip step by step, until everything that seems certain is suddenly uncertain. His paintings are a mysterious and personal journey, causing confusion and at the same time providing grip, as Rauch's travelling companions and companions also embrace the viewer.
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The 1993 and 1994 tondi mark the beginning of Rauch's current visual language. He creates this series of round paintings after a penetrating dream, which brings about a fundamental change in his approach to painting. Before then, Rauch wavered for a time which way to go; the dream is a signpost from his subconscious to return to the basics, figuration, and to let go of abstraction.
After the tondi, the exhibition takes a 25-year leap. In his most recent paintings, Rauch seems to be reaching back more and more to the Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism, to the 18th and 19th centuries. Here his figures seek balance, dreams and art, and decisively battle ideologues and troublemakers. Time traveler Rauch seems to comment on 20th- and 21st-century confusion and decay, within the hopeful backdrops of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Die Mitte is the second exhibition Museum de Fundatie is devoting to Rauch's painting. On view in 2018 was Neo Rauch - Dromos; a survey of his paintings from 1993 through 2017.
A catalog will be published with Die Mitte, with texts by Hubertus Gassner, Hans den Hartog Jager, Ralph Keuning, Bettina Krause and Uwe Tellkamp. A publication of Waanders Publishers and Museum de Fundatie.