H E I N Z   R A B B O W 

"Alice and I discovered Heinz’s art [around 2004] and we were instantly captivated by his talent.  It is, therefore, a great privilege for us to be able to present the very best of this artist’s production."

- Robert Landau

Landau Contemporary is proud to present a solo online exhibition of works by Heinz Rabbow who helped launch Landau Contemporary in 2005.

A world-class painter, Rabbow's work radiates with a purity, clarity and innocence that stimulates a Romanticised sense of self and collective identity.

Born in Berlin in 1940, Rabbow discovered his raw talent for painting late in life, despite a deft eye and natural proclivities for aesthetic expression. A student of journalism in the 1960s who worked in the trade until 1972, Rabbow then studied history and education in Hamburg, applying this newfound knowledge to become an elementary school teacher for disadvantaged children in Berlin in 1974.

"Rabbow’s painterly technique is a reflection of his character – loving, attentive and, above all, painstakingly perfect."

 

- Robert Landau  

For the following twenty years, Rabbow taught in one of the most socially problematic sections of Berlin, where he devoted himself primarily to the needs of disadvantaged children from Germany’s immigrant population, an experience that would facilitate his aesthetics towards empathy and humanity, which are the cornerstones of his work.

 

This tenure also allowed the artist the opportunity to develop the technical skill necessary to give form to his expression, and he demonstrated such aptitude and acuity in his craft that he became suddenly and unexpectedly successful as an artist in the 1980s. Thus, in 1995, he gave up his well-paid and secure teaching position in favour of the life of a bohemian free-lance artist.

Frau in den Feldern

Tempera on panel

123 x 133 cm.

2007

REF 691

In this early period, images of simple people created from his memories and dreams populate and inform his work, with particular focus on their eyes as the gateway to their souls.  Everything is reflected in the eyes, a conduit of non-verbal communication that expresses the unvarnished truth as well as every nuance of thought and feeling.

 

Heinz understood this concept implicitly and set forth to create work that could communicate deep states of being through a gaze, one that provokes both extroversion and introspection, simultaneously penetrating and compassionate.

Frau mit rosa-weißem Kopftuch

Tempera on panel

65 x 65 cm.

2007

REF 2704

As a philosopher, a pedagogue, an instructor and a journalist, Heinz drew on his rich and diverse knowledge to inform his art, distilled from a sense of inner serenity and tenderness, and executed in painstakingly rendered layers. Despite the piercing gaze of his idealized subjects, the effect that these portraits have on the viewer is of sublime harmony.

Known for using the ancient method of "grisaille", by painting solely in monochrome shades of neutral colour using tempera paint, his wraithlike subjects appear both familiar yet perplexingly celestial, timeless yet present. 

"Pigments made from mineral clays known as green earths bound in egg tempera were used by Italian artists from the 13th to 15th centuries as a base colour for flesh."

The laborious nature of this medium allows the subject to declare itself over time, the artist gentling coaxing form into being with each successive layer, finding the line, tone and mark that will render life.

 

First,  the painting ground is prepared with several layers of white so that the subsequent layers of colour seem to radiate from the depths, creating a pervasive glow that ripples through the picture plane.  This technique is particularly effective for rendering the skin tone and eyes when, oftentimes, more than twenty layers of paint are laid down, like an epidermis, over the fibreboard panel.

Frau mit Strohhut

Tempera on panel

123 x 133 cm.

2007

REF 792

Rabbow further believes that hair detracts from the smoothly modelled facial features and their communicative range, thus caps and hats are used to keep the viewer’s eye focused on the subject, with every subtle expression captured in its contours.

 

These paintings show neither depth nor distance, as Rabbow does not shadow his forms giving an immediacy to his subjects, and as such, the background and perspective are mere gestures towards realism.

"Ethereal, pure and serene, almost beyond human grasp, [Rabbow's portraits] showed us a peaceful soft world."

 - Niña Van den Bosch, Art Center HOres

After completing two sold-out shows in Munich, Germany and at Art Basel (the world’s leading international art fair in Basel, Switzerland),  Rabbow had his first Canadian exhibition at Galerie Dominion in October of 2005.

Frau mit blauem Turban

Tempera on panel

123 x 133 cm.

2007

REF 790

 Frau mit rosa Turban

Tempera on panel

123 x 133 cm.

2007

REF 789

Following his inaugural sold-out show in 2005, Landau Contemporary continued to present Rabbow’s paintings to international audiences at some of the leading international art fairs, as well as at our Montreal galleries.  

In 2008, the artist began a seminal series of twenty-six portraits entitled Ladies with Hats, which became the focus of a follow-up exhibition held at the Dominion Gallery in 2010. With over 300 in attendance for the opening night Vernissage, Rabbow had his second successful unveiling in Montreal.

"His use of tempera particularly captures skin tones and eyes in an exquisite manner and his laborious efforts produce a quality that is rare in today’s artistic world."

- Robert Landau

Amidst the cheerful colours of the headbands and the rakish angles of the brims, appear the inner beings of simple people.  The viewer attracted, as always, through the eyes and into the souls of the artist's subjects who, in turn, peer inquisitively into ours. 

 

The tones and contrasts of the head coverings conjure up a plethora of moods and mysteries that arouse our curiosities. 

Lady with Hat V

Tempera on panel

80 x 80 cm.

2008

REF 2796

Lady with Hat III

Tempera on panel

80 x 80 cm.

2008

REF 2794

Since Ladies with Hats, Heinz has been featured in a number of one-man gallery shows and group exhibitions at international art fairs in Italy, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the USA, to name a few.

 

His work can be found in countless important private and public collections around the globe, and can now be viewed online and in-person at our Montreal galleries for a limited time. We invite you to discover this extraordinary talent only at Landau Contemporary at Galerie Dominion. 

"More than 30 years ago, Rabbow nailed his colours to the proverbial mast. Wishing to offer an alternative to a world dominated by negativity of fear, selfishness, environmental pollution and war, he wants his portraits to convey courage and humanity. To provide a glimpse into a peaceful and just world, radiant with beauty and optimism."

 - Niña Van den Bosch

Rabbow at the Art Center Horus 

Artist Biography

b. 1940

Heinz Rabbow (born in Berlin in 1940) is a painter to watch, as his star is rising swiftly on the international art scene. Rabbow had his first Canadian exhibition at Galerie Dominion in October of 2005, after having completed sold-out shows in Munich, Germany and at the world’s leading international art fair in Basel, Switzerland.

 

He recreates the ancient method of “grisaille” by painting solely in monochrome shades of neutral colour using tempera paint. Rabbow builds his works in up to 30 layers of glazing using an old master technique. He concentrates almost exclusively on the human face, which he usually places full-frame and head-on. All at once, his wraithlike subjects seem ordinary yet perplexingly celestial. His paintings show neither depth nor distance, as Rabbow does not shadow his forms, as such, the background and perspective are mere gestures towards realism. 

 

After studies in journalism, history and education, he abandoned his profession as a teacher to pursue a career in painting. Since 1985, Heinz Rabbow’s works have been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide including the New York Art Expo, the Chicago Art Expo, Art Miami and Art Cologne.

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Landau Contemporary 2005 Catalogue

Select Exhibitions

2017 Art Center HOres, Knokke

2017 Dobele Kunst, Mannheim

2016 Art Center HOres, Sint-Maarten-Latem/Knokke

2015 Art Center HOres, Sint-Maarten-Latem

2015 Dobele Kunst, Art Karlsruhe

2015 Dobele Kunst, Kunstmess, Frankfurt

2014 Messeauftritte, Belgium/Amsterdam
2014 Art Center HOres, Sint-Maarten-Latem/Knokke

2014 Galleria Sacchetti, Ascona

2013 Art Center HOres, Sint-Maarten-Latem/Knokke

2013 Antiques and Art Fair, Luxembourg

2013 Antiek & Art Fair, Hasselt

2013 Lille Art Fair, Lille

2013 Sfeer, Gent

2013 Miart, Milan /Mailand

2013 Eccentric, Knokke

2013 Art Nocturne, Knokke

2012 Art Center HOres, Sint-Maarten-Latem/Knokke

2012 Galerie Sacchetti, Ascona

2011 Galerie Gottschick, Tubingen

2011 Landau Fine Art, TEFAF Maastricht

2010 Landau Fine Art, Montreal

2010 Landau Fine Art, Art Basel Miami Beach

2010 Gallery Rarity, Mykonos

2010 Landau Fine Art, Art Basel

2010 Museum Gunzenhauser, Sommerausstellung

2010 Landau Fine Art Tefaf Maastricht

2009 Art Basel, Landau Fine Art

2009 TEFAF Maastricht, Holland, Landau Fine Art

2009 Galerie Gunzenhauser, Munchen

2009 Galerie Gottschick, Art Karlsruhe

2008 Art Basel Miami Beach, Landau Fine Art

2007 Art Basel Miami Beach, Landau Fine Art

2007 Landau Contemporary at Galerie Dominion, Montreal

2007 Art Basel Switzerland, Landau Fine Art

2007 Art Chicago, Landau Fine Art

2007 TEFAF Maastricht, Holland, Landau Fine Art

2006 Art Basel Miami Beach, Landau Fine Art 

2006 Landau Contemporary at Galerie Dominion, Montreal

2006 FIAC, Paris, Landau Fine Art

2006 Biennale des Antiquaires, Paris, Landau Fine Art

2006 Art Basel Switzerland, Landau Fine Art

2006 TEFAF Maastricht, Holland, Landau Fine Art

2005 Art Basel Miami Beach, Landau Fine Art

2005 Landau Contemporary at Dominion Gallery, Montreal, Canada

Landau Contemporary 2010 Catalogue

We thank you for visiting our online exhibition. Please contact the gallery to find out more about this exceptional artist.

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