Lichtspiele (Light Plays)

Lichtspiele (Light Plays)

1997
Artist
Neo Rauch, German, 1960-
Born: Leipzig, Germany
Work Locations: Leipzig, Germany
Country
Germany
painting
Oil paint on canvas
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
2003.2
Neo Rauch (German). Lichtspiele (Light Plays). 1997. Oil paint on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. 2003.2.
Dimensions
height: 59 in, 149.8600 cm; width: 78 3/4 in, 200.0250 cm
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art

Rauch's paintings usually have dreamlike imagery mixed in with historical references and memories of the built environment of his youth in the former East Germany. Though there is much recognizable imagery, much of it is odd, even bizarre, and usually abstracted to various degrees. His palette suggests something out of America of the 1950s, but the colors in fact derive from his surroundings in Leipzig and are also simplified and flat.  In "Lichtspiele" pictorial depth comes only from interrupted perspective, foreshortening and overlapping.  The colored shapes have no modeling or gradation.  The projectors in the foreground are so abstracted one wonders if they are not something else.

In "Lichtspiele" Rauch finds a metaphor for painting in cinema, somewhat ironically perhaps, since, as Walter Benjamin claimed, film would succeed painting as the most important art form of the twentieth century.  As Gerd Harry Lybke, Rauch's German dealer, suggests, movies throw a projection of the innerworld onto a "canvas", just like paintings.

Exhibition History
  • Logan Vail Gallery, 6/13/2003-7/01/2003
  • "RADAR: Selections form the Collection of Vicki & Kent Logan"--Denver Art Museum, 9/26/2006-7/16/2007

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