Gideon Rubin (b. 1973, Israel) is an artist who lives and works in London. Exploring identity, history and the inheritance of trauma in his enigmatic paintings, Rubin’s subject matter draws on myriad references such as film, popular culture, art history and literature, creating and investigating mythologies from the recent past. Haunting and subtly theatrical, the paintings often feature faceless yet familiar figures. Underlying each work is Rubin’s expressive mark-making, muted palette and understated use of negative space and raw canvas.
Look Again is Gideon Rubin’s second major trade monograph and showcases his substantial body of work since 2015, including studies of people in nature and scenes of solitude and intimacy. Author and art critic Jennifer Higgie discusses the evolution of his artistic style and his many influences – Balthus, De Kooning, Guston and Diebenkorn to name a few. Dr Matthew Holman’s expansive essay touches on Rubin’s cinematic characters, source material, his use of artistic conventions and engagement with sexuality. Holman investigates the meaning of redaction in Rubin’s work, both in his faceless portraits and in Black Book – a work in which Rubin used black paint to erase the contents of a 1938 English translation of Mein Kampf. Exhibited at the Freud Museum in London in 2018, Black Book is an exploration of what is left out of history, as much as what is remembered.
Painting is essential to Rubin, as both a creative and therapeutic act; ‘a log keeping him afloat in the middle of the sea’, as he puts it. In conversation with fellow artist Varda Caivano, Rubin analyses his motivations, processes and doubts, and explains his surprising route to painting. Despite coming from a lineage of painters on his father’s side, it was largely his mother’s academic love of art that galvanised his artistic career, as well as a transformational experience in South America that opened him up to painting. An emotive poem by South Korean author Park Joon sheds further light on Rubin’s imagination.
Rubin studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and then at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. He has had numerous international one-man shows and his works are included in a number of international private and public collections. Recent exhibitions include 13, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Milan (2023), Dark Noise, The Kupferman House Collection, Israel (2023), Portrait without a Face, Fox Jensen Gallery, Tokyo (2023), a solo show at CASSIUS&Co., London (2023) and Living Memory, a two-person show with Louise Bourgeois in a Grade II listed chapel in London (2023). Rubin’s work has been featured in publications such as Artribune, San Francisco Examiner, Vestoj, Koln Kultur, Galerie Magazine, Südostschweiz newspaper and Elephant among others. The publication has been supported by Galerie Karsten Greve, who represent Rubin’s work in Paris, Cologne and St. Moritz.
260 x 210 mm / 10.25 x 8.25 in (p)
c. 168 images
RRP: £40 / €46 / $52
UK Release: 9 November 2023
US Release: 14 December 2023
Dr Matthew Holman
Edited by Rosie Robertson and Matt Price
Designed by Herman Lelie
Layouts by Stefania Bonelli
Printed by EBS, Verona
Published by Anomie Publishing, London
Distributed by Casemate Art
Images © Gideon Rubin
Photos: Richard Ivey