Ludwig Rauch. Portrait and Abstraction

Current

Ludwig Rauch. Portrait and Abstraction

13/10/2022 — 08/01/2023

Ludwig Rauch, Daily Distraction of Living, 2016, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Daily Distraction of Living, 2016, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Large Figure #1, 2020, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Large Figure #1, 2020, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Bernhard Heisig, 1994, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Bernhard Heisig, 1994, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Arno Rink, 2014, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Arno Rink, 2014, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Tina Bara, 1988, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Tina Bara, 1988, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Big Egg #1, 2016, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Big Egg #1, 2016, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Natural Lines #1, 2016, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Natural Lines #1, 2016, private collection, © artist

The Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig presents a selection of works by Leipzig-born photographer Ludwig Rauch (*1960). As the title Portrait and Abstraction suggests, the show combines two bodies of work from the photographer's more than 40-year career: on the one hand, there are portraits of mainly Leipzig-based artists and, on the other, works in which Rauch experimentally explores the limits of his medium.

Being an artist is a self-reflexive theme in Ludwig Rauch's work. Since the 1980s, the photographer has therefore repeatedly sought out painters and, with a fine sense for the connection between personality and work, has often taken the camera into the studios: as an attentive guest who stages artists, weighing up his own position in the process. While painters approach their pictures as a counterpart with the consistency and handling of their colours, with insistence on forms and with the unpredictability of fantasy, with which they grapple until they have "said" everything, the photographer has to respect the limits set by his medium; he has to discover something artistic already in looking and framing as well as in the technical and bring it forth as a picture.

Rauch reveals something of himself when he portrays artists, namely his own longing for those dimensions of invention and sensitivity that open up in painting. And this is also how the second part of the exhibition, which brings together abstract works, is understood. These works show that photographic means can also be used to explore those subjective and alien worlds that are often reserved for painters.

Some of Rauch's work is characterised by intense colouring, his colours have transparency and depth, they possess qualities such as weight and blurriness. Other works, on the other hand, are reminiscent of analytical fine painting or seem like a microscopic photograph of the inside of things, thus revealing worlds that lie behind the surface.

Ludwig Rauch was born in Leipzig in 1960. He studied with Arno Fischer at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1986-1989 before leaving for West Berlin in January 1989. Rauch had already worked as a photojournalist in the GDR, testing his medium artistically. Because of his candid, veristic photographs of workers in electric coal production, he was banned from publishing in 1986, a ban that remained in place until the fall of the Wall. In 1991, Ludwig Rauch was one of the co-founders of the art magazine neue bildende Kunst (New Visual Art), where he was the picture editor until the magazine was discontinued in 1999. Today, the photographer teaches at the Ostkreuzschule in Berlin.

The exhibition will open on 12 October 2022, 6 pm.

Accompanying programme:

The artist talk with Ludwig Rauch and director Stefan Weppelmann on 11 November, 5 pm is cancelled due to illness. Instead, there will be a guided tour of the exhibition with director Stefan Weppelmann.

Ludwig Rauch, Large Figure #1, 2020, private collection, © artist
Ludwig Rauch, Large Figure #1, 2020, private collection, © artist