Much like his paintings, Neo Rauch's prints lure the viewer into symbolically layered narratives. His personal iconography includes human figures, animals, and hybrids engaged in mundane, arbitrary tasks—often in familiar but, ultimately, imaginary settings.
The second chapter of the artist's previous online prints presentation by the same name, the selection featured here exemplifies many of Rauch's recurring tropes: a small, perched figure carries a megaphone, a sleeping gentleman is overcast by ballerinas, and another character practices juggling in an indecipherable landscape. For Rauch, the medium of lithography, a major part of his artistic practice since 1993, serves as an equal ground for these whimsical pictorial worlds to be intimated, asserted, and wrestled from the realities of everyday life.
The relationship between Rauch's paintings and his wide array of graphic works—from collographs and silk screens to engravings and lithographs—is not limited to his repetition of motifs. From his print studio in Leipzig, he achieves atmospheric colour fields and enigmatic pictorial landscapes that move freely between the paper and the canvas.
Working with a master lithographer, Rauch creates his intricate images by either brushing or etching them into stone and coating the surface in a solution that allows the ink to better penetrate it. Multiple colours are then reproduced through a careful series of 'colour runs.' One inked stone is required for each colour, in order for the final work to attain the painterly effect of watercolours or gouaches.
Press release courtesy David Zwirner.