Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

The place to go tonight in the DC area is the opening reception at the Katzen Arts Center at AU.

The Mid-Atlantic's best looking arts venue will host the opening receptions from 6-9PM to welcome:

Life After Death: New Leipzig Painters from the Rubell Family Collection
Eberhard Havekost: New Works from the Rubell Family Collection
Hungarian Revolution, 1956
Mindy Weisel: Words on a Journey
Athena Tacha: Small Wonders
Just the fact that Don and Mera Rubell may be there (they will be at the Katzen on Sept. 19 to discuss "their very personal process of selecting and collecting art") probably means that every art dealer within a 200 mile radius will probably show up.

I am particularly interested in Life After Death: New Leipzig Painters from the Rubell Family Collection. In 1989, the seven artists represented in this exhibition: Tilo Baumgärtel, Tim Eitel, Martin Kobe, Neo Rauch, Christoph Ruckhäberle, David Schnell and Matthias Weischer — all rejected the trendy genres of today's art critics and museum curators: video, photography and installation art, and instead chose to study figurative painting at the Leipzig Art Academy.

The resulting work goes completely against the grain of what a lot of art writers, critics and curators try to force-feed us as the only viable contemporary art forms, and reflects the fact that as long as talent is given room to grow, there is room for all genres and visual interests, including the much maligned realism.

It will be interesting to read what the chief art critic of the Washington Post, a leading town crier for the "painting is dead" mob, writes about this show. However, if his review of fellow German painter Gerhardt Richter's 2003 show is an indication (which Gopnik should have hated), Gopnik won't step out of line and will conveniently join the international applause chorus to the Leipzig boys.

Kudos to the Katzen for bringing a top-notch show to the capital area.