Sabine Russ interviews painter Neo Rauch on the occasion of his exhibition At the Well at David Zwirner Gallery, New York, on view through December 20, 2014.
Rauch comments: " ...my personnel are closely interwoven with natural processes. This is a precondition that I have to impose on the entire painting from the start as I am trying to give it an existence as a natural entity, or an organism. I have to provide it with everything it needs to be viable—a functioning circulation system, a support structure that keeps it in balance in relation to gravity, and so on. The painting’s personnel automatically embrace these efforts; my figures swing along with the compositional flow and they only rebel where it is necessary for dramaturgic reasons... At a certain point of its existence the image itself makes existential claims to its creator. It wants to be supplied with everything it needs in order to be. These are, of course, elemental aspects that find their reflection in the viewer’s sense of balance. Therefore, the painting cannot really go astray, but its creator can, if he or she is unable to comply with the demands of the work."