Monday, July 02, 2007


You've called your earliest paintings (from 1993) in the Wolfsburg show your first "valid" pictures. How do you judge a painting's "validity?"

Let's go back to that image of the internal compass that I just spoke of: Before 1993 the magnetic needle was swinging all over the place. Discovering my position was complicated, because there were so many artistic points of reference. I was overwhelmed by all of the possibilities coming into my studio from thousands of different directions. My work displayed violent mood swings from abstraction to figuration, and this was just one of the many internal conflicts I faced at the time....

"Validity" comes down to the extent to which the uniqueness of the artist's psyche can establish a permanence of form and meaning in the actual work. Since 1993, I have been able to focus better on sorting out what is most significant for me.
Neo Rauch interview on ArtInfo. Here's a review by Schjeldahl on the show at the MET.

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