Neo Rauch - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Monday, February 8, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    David Zwirner, New York
    Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Neo Rauch, whose surreal and encompassing canvases, has become celebrated for making works that exemplify an amalgamation of realist and surrealist styles in a unique manner. He is known to paint his imagination straight onto the canvas without relying on existing sketches or images. Thus, his work unfolds in the most unpredictable of ways, for himself and his viewers. By utilising scale and perspective in an arbitrary way, Rauch creates a dreamlike quality to his paintings.

    The present lot, Gold of 2013, portrays human figures at the forefront of the painting - what they are doing however, remains mysteriously uncertain. Much like his other works, the background is comprised of a landscape which he paints from his own surroundings. Nonetheless, his depictions of them are enigmatic and often appear peculiarly isolated. Likewise, his painted figures resemble still life objects, removed from human presence. The figures look like cut-outs which have been assembled and painted against the landscaped background. They are simultaneously unknown and familiar, which give them a strange timelessness. The rustic abandoned landscape painted with dark subtle colours contrasts sharply with forefront figures and the building, which resembles an industrialised shop. This contrast is both intriguing and confusing, as one wonders how to make sense of their visual combination. Indeed, Rauch seems to have allowed for events from the past, present and future to visually merge into a single fictive narrative, understanding this to be the metaphor of the world we live in. This perhaps, is the result of Léon Bloy’s influence on the artist, which has lead Rauch to investigate the idea that events follow simultaneously, not consecutively.

    In the present lot, Rauch takes the viewer on a journey through his vivid imagination, which successfully tests our memory and psyche. In doing so, he creates an environment which is at once strangely real, yet totally made-up.

Property from an Important Russian Collector



oil on canvas
250 x 210 cm (98 3/8 x 82 5/8 in.)
Signed and dated 'Rauch 03' on the lower right and titled 'Gold' in the centre.

£400,000 - 600,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £434,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London

+44 207 318 4063

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 9 February 2016 7pm