|"No Panik" 2009 oil and wax on canvas 130 x 170 cm|
|"Spirit" 2010 oil on canvas 150 x 180 cm|
|"The Prisoners," 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas, 106 x 212 inches; Photo by Ivo Faber|
|"MittSommer" (Midsummer) Acrylic on felt 180 x 500 cm 2010|
The art critic, John Seed recently posted a selection of 10 memorable paintings from 2011 on his Huffington Post blog. It included a few artists familiar to me and some that weren't. Among those I had not seen before was Ruprecht Von Kaufmann, a German born and based artist whose work straddles the yawning gulf between illustration and fine art so successfully that the gulf is reduced to a mere fuzzy patch between two sides of the same room. While he also delves deep into the more conceptual and installation side of things with canvases ripping apart and peeling off the walls, his more straightforward representational work also demands to be taken seriously, even though he employs a highly graphic figurative style reminiscent of the sort of thing you might find in comic books (ahem, excuse me, I mean graphic novels - the case has long ago been adequately made that this is an art form in it's own right). The paintings tend toward monochromatic grays and blues giving the work a decidedly melancholy air, and the subject matter is likewise somber and occasionally downright horrific. The power and energy of the painting itself draws you in. The style is loose. Control can be the death of this kind of work. His underlying mastery of drawing gives a tautness that balances the loose brushwork so that the whole seems to balance on the knife edge between two ways of failing without ever doing so.
you can see more on his website: rvonkaufmann.com