Born 1960, Leipzig, Germany
Lives and works in Leipzig
Neo Rauch's curious and curiously beautiful paintings present a world populated
by hybrid animals and hypertrophied humans. His harsh, industrial colors and heroic,
1950s-looking workmen and sturdy women, depicted with almost cartoonish realism, are
elements Rauch has retained from the Socialist Realist aesthetic of communist East
Germany, where he grew up and received his artistic training. However much he has been
influenced by the Eastern bloc political posters, public murals, and illustrations of his
youth, Rauch's contemporary take on that earlier style is a dramatic departure. Somberness
pervades Rauch's paintings where the earnest activity of his ideal workers seems directed
toward no productive end. Scale and space are out of sync in scenes in which humans
interact with beastlike forms in illogical landscapes. Although narratives with a
metaphoric aspect, these works are not easily parsed. Ambiguous and sometimes menacing,
the stories his paintings tell are retro-futuristic fantasies of a world at once strange
and eerily familiar, recognizable not from experience but perhaps from dreams.
Gingeras, Alison M. "Neo Rauch: A Peristaltic Filtration System in the River of Time." Flash Art 35, no. 227 (November–December 2002): 62–69.
Neo Rauch. Exhibition catalogue. Maastricht, Netherlands: Bonnefanten Museum; Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 2002.
Neo Rauch: Paintings and Drawings. Exhibition catalogue. Berlin: Deutsche Guggenheim, 2001.
Neo Rauch: Randgebiet. Exhibition catalogue. Leipzig: Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, 2000.
Tuymans, Luc. "What the Painters Say." Art Press (July–August 2002): 37–46.
David Zwirner Gallery