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Doede Hardeman (ed.)

Hatje Cantz, 2010
160 pages
136 illustrations, 114 in colour
ISBN: 9783775725460

The human figures depicted by the Swiss artist Leopold Rabus are ill-fated, gruesome, awkward, or crazy, yet always humorous. Against the backdrop of a realistically rendered woodland scene and toadstools, a deserted shed, or a wooden house in the forest, he paints people from his immediate surroundings: Neuchatel in northwestern Switzerland.

Today, it seems that everyone wants to broaden their horizons and see everything of the world - but not Rabus. What fascinates him is the local context, the traditions of his home. But they are disappearing. In Neuchatel, for example, it used to be the custom to collect hair from the head of a deceased loved one and make it into a flower composition. Now, by contrast, that tradition is regarded as very strange, even morbid. For Rabus, practices like this are intimate and moving. This one inspired him to produce a woodland house that at first glance looks perfectly normal, but is actually covered entirely with human hair.


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