Artistfacts: Adrian Ghenie

Adrian Ghenie is an amazingly talented and engaging, haunting artist, whose use of color, texture and gesture make you fall in love with paint and the act of painting though he does not use a paint brush but relies on a palette knife, stencils, dripping and pouring for the bold, gestural application of paint, the thick layers scraped and blurred, accidents embraced.

Born in communist Romania in 1977 he now lives and works in Berlin.  His works are like Francis Bacon’s a mix of figurative and abstract with bold, lush uses of color. The sensuality of his process draws you in while the subject matter is often bleak with a focus on the abusers of power or their victims, elements of 20th and 21st century history or historical figures- Ceausescu, Stalin, Hitler, the refugee crisis…

Ghenie has stated in an Artnews article that: ” every painting is abstract, I don’t believe in figurative. as soon as it starts to imitate, to depict something, then a painting is dead.” Although there are definitely figures in his paintings, some highly recognizable, a lot are deconstructed or alluded to, often with the titles providing information. The fact that the artist is forced to make decisions on how to paint, how to combine fragments from various media or the level of detail included in a setting or landscape imbues and abstracts the work.





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