Neo Rauch: The kung fu master of his own Matrix…

Here’s another new art link:  Chelsea Galleries.  This is the best resource for what’s going on in NYC I’ve seen yet. It provides opening and closing dates as well as a daily status of what’s running.

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I went to see the Neo Rauch exhibit at the Met a couple weeks ago with my friend John Bauer. This was great for two reasons:

First, John is an excellent painter and particularly articulate when talking about the nuts and bolts (and theories) of painting. It was good to see a show with someone who was familiar with Rauch’s work, first-hand, and could make technical observations about this show and its difference from previous work.

Second, I was only loosely familiar with Rauch’s work. He’s ubiquitous enough in the contemporary art world to have seen reproductions of his paintings from time to time, but I hadn’t actually seen anything of his in person before.

It prompted me to read up on Rauch and New German Painting.

All-in-all, I liked the show and I like Rauch’s work. The downside, though, was what I consider a correct observation by Bauer that it seemed hurried and often unresolved. The larger paintings in the Met’s modern gallery of Rauch’s appeared much more considered and deliberate.

Rauch, in my opinion, seems more imaginative than late David Salle or Jeff Koons (who seem dogmatic at this point) and has a masterful technical ability.  Whether you’re interested enough to try to decipher the “hidden meaning,” if there is one, you can still get a sense of what’s going on and appreciate the beauty of the paintings themselves.  They don’t transcend the idea of concept, but are very strong, visually, supporting the viewer as she/he addresses the mystery or difficulty in figuring them out.

-W

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