press release

The Cobra Museum of Modern Art is the first Dutch museum to present a superb retrospective of one of the most sensational artist groups of the present time – the New Leipzig School. Major trendsetters at the exhibition are Neo Rauch and Matthias Weischer, who have made their way into the great museums of the world with their lively figurative paintings; but as the exhibition will show, there is plenty of other outstanding work from Leipzig as well.

The foundation of the New Leipzig School was laid by artists who studied at the Leipzig Academy during the GDR era, where they received a thorough grounding in traditional painting techniques. In their own work they explored the outermost boundaries of the system imposed on them. From the traditional realistic painting style of their teachers, the younger generation developed a new artistic vocabulary which at present is causing an international furore.

The paintings from Leipzig are characterised by a high degree of craftsmanship. Most of the works are large in size and very colourful. In terms of subject matter, the artists have a striking predilection for using stories, in a surrealistic or dramatic way. They can be seen as echoes of the social-realistic painting style which was a distinctive feature of the GDR for a long time, but without the moralistic messages. Another remarkable feature is the frequent use of architecture in the works, sometime as a dramatic allusion to the past, but sometimes also as an ironic note from the present.

The exhibition will show a wide selection of paintings, both by the ‘fathers’ of the New Leipzig School such as Neo Rauch (1960) and Ulf Puder (1958), and by members of the younger generations, such as David Schnell (1971), Matthias Weischer (1973), Christoph Ruckhäberle (1972), Tobias Lehner (1974) and Sebastian Gögel (1978).

The New Leipzig School has a tradition in photography as well as in painting. The exhibition will also feature work from some of the photographers, such as Erasmus Schröter (1956), Matthias Hoch (1958), Maix Mayer (1960) and Ricarda Roggan (1972). The art works in the exhibition come from a number of young art galleries in Leipzig and from the collection of the Austrian couple Karlheinz and Agnes Essl. After the remarkable exhibition ‘China Now’, the New Leipzig School exhibition will be the second major project the Cobra Museum of Modern Art is undertaking in collaboration with the Essl Museum

only in german

New Leipzig School

Künstler: Tim Eitel, Uwe Kowski, Maix Mayer, Neo Rauch, Ricarda Roggan, David Schnell, Matthias Weischer