Colección SOLO is delighted to announce that two works by the German painter Neo Rauch now form part of the permanent collection housed at Espacio SOLO Madrid.
A leading figure in Europe’s art scene over the past twenty years, Rauch has achieved critical acclaim worldwide with an alluring blend of figurative imagery, surrealism and enticing suggested narrative. His dreamlike creations are held by landmark institutions including New York’s MoMA and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. Colección SOLO now joins this prestigious list, with two excellent examples of Rauch’s work: Gold (2003) and Der Hirt (2000).
In characteristic Neo Rauch style, landscape morphs into nightmarish fantasy in the large-scale oil painting, Gold. Three figures observe what appear to be human heads displayed in a shop window, while staff inside prepare fresh stock. A sinister building to the left heightens the sense of unease and the thick bars of black cloud, lingering on the horizon, intensify the oppressive air of uncertainty.
Gold appeared in Rauch’s first museum survey in the USA – held at Saint Louis Art Museum in 2003 – and combines many of the features that have come to define the artist’s work. Rooted in actions and places, it recalls a history painting, yet with the dreamlike quality of surrealism. The muted colours lend a timeless quality, while the cast of expressionless characters seem to have arrived here from a vintage comic or propaganda poster. There’s writing too, with “Gold” spelt out vertically in the centre of the piece, and a host of inexplicable elements: the woman’s empty bag, open on the floor; the splashes of colour in the shop window; a speech bubble left empty. Gold, in short, is an invitation to endless pondering.
In this sense, it fits perfectly with the artist’s own evaluation of his work. As Rauch explained to the art critic and Chicago University professor, Christine Mehring, “My pictures are a suggestion. The outcome is not decided…” This idea is reflected in the way he works: Rauch…