Neo Rauch: Rondo

Art Free
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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Nothing makes sense in Neo Rauch’s world. Windmills turn into bendy tubes, men in horned hats crash green cymbals together, ostriches with human faces are stroked like pets. The German artist’s paintings are like the unfinished works of some eighteenth-century outsider artist with a heavy drug dependence, and they’re awesome. 

There’s a classical edge to this new series. At first glance they could be something you’d find in a rural central European museum of pre-modern art. Then the weirdness hits you: the fish-human hybrids, the giant people and the tiny houses, the angular modern shapes poking through the countryside. 

Everything is neatly composed, Rauch is a smart artist, but it’s impossible to grasp the meaning of what’s happening. They’re ultra-weird visual riddles, like allegorical Renaissance paintings with no allegory, stories with no narrative. They’re totally mysterious and confusing, filled with symbols that seem to lack any coherent meaning. If Rauch knows what any of this is about, he’s not letting on. And that’s a good thing. He’s at his best when he leaves your head spinning.



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