The German title of this lithographic print translates as “upwards” in English; perhaps the title is a reference to the yellow signpost in the composition, which rests on an easel and points toward the top corner. The signpost is a prominent motif in the artist’s newest body of work. Arrows and directional markers pointing in myriad directions seemingly allude to the disorientation of contemporary life. This sense of disorientation is furthered as the artist figure, who stands on a raised platform above a group of onlookers, wears a shirt that reads “lowly” in English. Behind him is a rounded figure, seemingly in perpetual motion, who dons a hat with arrows pointing in opposite directions.
Neo Rauch's (b. 1960) artworks are characterized by their distinctive combination of figurative imagery and surrealist abstraction. His enigmatic compositions employ an eccentric iconography of human characters, animals and hybrid forms within familiar-looking but imaginary settings. While Rauch begins each work without a preconceived idea of the finished result, there is a unique and recognizable visual coherence to his oeuvre. Paintings often display palettes of strong, complementary colors; recurrent subjects include the seamless integration of organic and non-organic elements as well as references to the creative process, music and manual labor. The artist's treatment of scale is deliberately arbitrary and non-perspectival—it often seems to allude to different time zones or planes of existence.
As with his paintings on canvas, Rauch's works on paper—including paintings, drawings and prints—serve as equal ground for his symbolically laden narratives to play out. Lithographic prints in particular are integral to the artist's practice, constituting a major part of his artistic production since 1993. In 2012, the artist set up Grafikstiftung Neo Rauch, a foundation in his hometown of Aschersleben, Germany that is dedicated to the entirety of his graphic work; the institution houses one edition of each print he has produced. As Rudij Bergmann notes, "Rauch's graphic art is part of [his] complete oeuvre . . . like his drawings, his prints are hardly preliminary sketches or imitations of his paintings. Certainly, his graphic art does not arise independently from his paintings, but neither is it created in a dependence that lags behind them."
As Rauch notes, "It's not easy for me to make prints; I find the medium enormously challenging, and I tremble before each and every stone. A three-by-five meter canvas is just a playground for me . . . Compared to lithography stone which never attains the size of a tabletop, the sense of freedom you get in front of a canvas is far greater."
② Represented by:
Neo Rauch's artworks are a distinctive combination of figurative imagery and surrealist abstraction. His enigmatic compositions employ an eccentric iconography of human characters, animals and hybrid forms within familiar-looking but imaginary settings. His work often depicts the seamless integration of organic and non-organic elements, with frequent references to the creative process, music and manual labor.
This print features a signpost, a prominent motif in the artist’s newest body of work. Arrows and directional markers pointing in myriad directions, seemingly alluding to the disorientation of contemporary life.More
- Edition of 35
- Signed and dated
- Printed by Lithographisches Atelier Leipzig
- Published by Utopia Editions