VORDER
MITTEL
HINTERGRUND
Hartwig Ebersbach - Stefan Guggisberg - Neo Rauch



From 29th May 2021 on, the Graphics Foundation Neo Rauch presents an encounter of three artist generations living in Leipzig (Germany) in its latest group show: Hartwig Ebersbach, Neo Rauch and Stefan Guggisberg.

Hartwig Ebersbach, born in Zwickau (Germany) in 1940, completed his studies in painting under the mentoring of Professor Bernhard Heisig at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig from 1959 until 1964. The close relationship with Neo Rauch exists twofold: Hartwig Ebersbach not only belonged to the teaching generation during Neo Rauch’s studies in Leipzig but he was also a fellow student of the early deceased father Hanno Rauch. Hartwig Ebersbach’s oeuvre is marked by its expressive, predominately abstract work built on a distinctive strong and pastose color application.

Neo Rauch, born in Leipzig in 1960, studied in Professor Arno Rink’s class at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig from 1981 until 1986. He later became a master-class student under the supervision of Bernhard Heisig and finally held a professorship from 2005 until 2014 at the same arts academy. Neo Rauch especially gained national and international reputation through a prominent figurative picture language in his work. In the period of his teaching profession, he has mentored a new generation of painters and encouraged them to follow their own artistic inspirations and expressions.

In this context, the group show’s encounter is complemented by the artistic contribution of Stefan Guggisberg, born in Thun (Switzerland) in 1980. From 2005 until 2009, he studied photography and painting in the classes of Christopher Muller, Neo Rauch and Timm Rautert at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig and until 2012; he was a master-class student of Neo Rauch. Stefan Guggisberg dedicates himself to paper as a support medium on which he delicately removes several layers of paint to make numerous hidden forms and structures visible.

The exhibited works present similarities of the artists’ proficiencies and their classic teaching as well as their distinctions of artistic expressions. This enthralling correlation featuring a repertoire of diverse forms, colors, subjects and selected materials is what makes this exhibition so exceptional.

The exhibition is supported by the NORD/LB Kulturstiftung.


In loose sequence, the Graphics Foundation Neo Rauch provides an insight into a selection of works on view in the current exhibition VORDER MITTEL HINTERGRUND – Stefan Guggisberg, Hartwig Ebersbach, Neo Rauch.

 

Hartwig Ebersbach: Der Zorn Gottes (detail), 2021, watercolor, twelve-part leporello, 70 x 600 cm, series Das Geschehen, Courtesy Galerie Jochen Hempel, Leipzig; Photo: Uwe Walter, Berlin; © Hartwig Ebersbach, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

 

“Der Zorn Gottes” (approx. wrath of god), a twelve-part leporello, belongs to the multi-part series entitled “Das Geschehen” (approx. the event). In this work Hartwig Ebersbach (*1940 in Zwickau) turns to watercolor after many years of oil painting. It shows a rich palette of colors, applied with the familiar powerful, playful ease.

The space-filling leporello seems chronologically readable from left to right, but breaks mark especially the left half of the paperwork. Rather abstract forms leave the viewer wondering about the visible as well as the invisible. Where at first glance one expects no narration, nothing figurative, at second glance one or the other comes to the surface of consciousness – the devil’s claw, fire, figurative forces that wrestle, plead, turn back and forth.

According to Hartwig Eberbach’s narration, this work is dedicated to the following dream event: God is enraged, because his earthly representative, the pope, behaves reprehensibly, is unworthy of his position. The church, petrified, has betrayed its values. God and the devil have remained as lovers since time immemorial. Hartwig Ebersbach illustrates the loss of credibility, turbulent actions. Changes that are permeated by emotional, expressive and tense conditions. Thus, “Der Zorn Gottes” is an extremely exciting event on many different levels – formal, affective as well as in terms of content.

You are warmly invited to take a closer look at the complete work at the Graphic Foundation Neo Rauch. We look forward to welcoming you!

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Exhibition view (photos): Uwe Walter, Berlin, 2021.
© Hartwig Ebersbach, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021. Courtesy Galerie Jochen Hempel, Leipzig.
© Stefan Guggisberg
© Neo Rauch, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021. Courtesy of Galerie Eigen+Art, Leipzig/Berlin; David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong/Paris.

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