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Rebecca Horn

Goya's Augenwirbel

pencil and acrylic on paper
2015
40 x 30 cm / 15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.
signed and dated lower right titled lower centre

Rebecca Horn is an artist who intensively deals with art history and newly connects and interprets motifs, metaphors and symbols in her own cosmos of images. In "Goyas Augenwirbel" (Goya's eye vortex) the reference to Goya is illustrated in the title, and in the swirling colours the vortex and the eye are easily discerned. However, it refers to the eye of Saturn in Goya's painting "Saturn devouring his son". Goya's works, combining the horrors of reality with dream images, are pointing forward towards modernity and are seen as important precursors of surrealism. Goya's painting of Saturn devouring his child is an especially impressive example for the expressive, surrealist elements in his works. One of the wide open eyes, showing a hint of lunacy in the violent god, served as a prototype for Rebecca Horn's painting. The way she rotates the eye is exemplary for the main theme in her oeuvre: transformation, chronological changes, and constant movement. On a mythological level, that is also the theme of Goya's picture: the roman god Saturn is also the Greek Chronos, time itself, and it is time that devours its children. For the possible symbolic and philosophic thoughts which tie in with this concept, Rebecca Horn finds an expression which is as concentrated as it is poetic.

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