New York

Rudi Tröger


In Rudi Tröger’s very Germanic portraits, a traditional sense of objectivity is curiously blended with the artist’s suggestively subjective treatment. Tröger’s figures remain recognizable in their social presence, but they are at times saturated in atmosphere, making for a peculiarly ethereal effect, or blurred to the point of seeming abstract. Thus, if never as ruthlessly clear and detailed as, say, the work of Otto Dix or George Grosz, there are portraits that tilt toward empirical description, for example, Bildnis A. (Picture A., 1970–71), and Bildnis S., 1985–86, portraits of children, from whom Tröger probably felt a certain detachment and distance. Yet in murkier, even amorphous portraits, empiricism is completely sacrificed for an effect of uncanny emotional intimacy, for example, the untitled figure on a bed, 1966, and Bildnis Ph., 1967, in which a distorted, possibly female subject,

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