An exhibition of new work by Gideon Rubin relates to the era when Sigmund Freud left Vienna for London.
Israeli artist Gideon Rubin's specially created project for Freud’s final home consists of a series of paintings on canvas, linen and paper, taking inspiration from original pre-World War Two German magazines. The magazines' idealised images of heath and efficiency were designed to promote the myth of Aryan supremacy in Nazi propaganda; here, Rubin has subverted these images by masking out faces, Nazi references and swastika motifs, in reference to the human tendency to block out unpleasant memories from our psyche.
Rubin identifies Freud's narrow escape from Vienna in 1938 with his own maternal grandparents’ escape from Nazi persecution, fleeing Romania at the last moment in 1939, and these images constitute a way for the artist to engage with the past on a personal level. They also relate to the current world crisis of refugees fleeing from conflicts.
As suggested in the exhibition title, Black Book, Rubin's systematic blocking out of propaganda images represents a symbolic neutralising and negating of their sinister associations.