Gerhard Richter/Neo Rauch: Painting Media: Mark Hazthausen
Gerhard Richter and Neo Rauch are painters born 28 years apart in the German state of Saxony, which from 1949 until 1990 lay in the communist German Democratic Republic. After creating his earliest paintings in a socialist realist style, Richter emigrated to West Germany in 1961 only months before the erection of the Berlin Wall. Rauch, born in Leipzig in 1960, lived, studied, worked, and remained in the East. Beyond their origins they are linked by their respective projects of renewing figurative oil painting by appropriating imagery from reproductive media. A comparison of these respective phases of their work, produced at different moments under drastically different circumstances, makes for a provocative case study of historical change in the political and artistic landscape of post-WWII Germany.
Haxthausen is Director of Graduate Art History at Williams College, Williamstown, MA. Prior to that, he was the curator of German Art at the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University. He holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas, Houston and a PhD from Columbia University, New York.
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