• Post-War and Contemporary Art  auction at Christies

    Sale 7835

    Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

    12 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 111

    Neo Rauch (b. 1960)


    Price Realised  


    Neo Rauch (b. 1960)
    signed and dated 'Rauch 99' (lower right)
    oil on paper
    26½ x 37¼in. (67.5 x 94.5cm.)
    Executed in 1999

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    'Having set the fundamentals, the stage, I introduce the actors on the stage. Then it happens--when I set the inhabitants into a relation, I am not able to plan. In between the figures, and in between the figures and me, subtle relations start to be created. A microclimate comes into being' (Rauch, quoted in A. Lubov, 'The New Leipzig School', pp. 69-70, in Neo Rauch: para, exh. cat., New York, 2007, p. 69).

    Executed whilst Rauch was preparing in earnest for his inaugural solo exhibition in the United States at David Zwirner's New York Gallery, Isola records a seminal moment in Rauch's career as he stood on the brink of international success. The huge personal significance of this momentous occasion finds allegorical interpretation in the unfolding drama presented here by Rauch, who himself takes centre stage besides the futuristic ray-gun pointing in to the distance in the centre of the composition. The scene can be interpreted as a metaphor for Rauch's impending exhibition in the U.S. and the way in which he is preparing to 'shoot' his Leipzig style of painting right into the capitalist heart of the Western world.
    Rauch's work is filled with reference to a variety of histories, ideologies and cultural environments. In Isola for example, the 'art cannon', the figures and the architecture all seem to take inspiration from the Cold War era. Yet they are juxtaposed with an input device that controls the 'art cannon' and the modernist, at times abstract rendition of the landscape. Rooted in the particular word in which he grew up, the work is an excellent example of Rauch's ability to conflate a vast array of signs and references from various cultural and social histories, in a way that describes a hesitant national psyche borne out of an uncertain past. It affords several complex narratives revolving and signposts of Communism and consumerism, injecting industrial paraphernalia with post-modern irony and humour whilst also bringing to mind German art history from Drer and Freidrich to Baselitz and Beuys.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Galerie Eigen + Art, Berlin.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 2000.