OVERVIEWFEB 01 to MAR 23Solo Exhibition
- Solo Exhibition
Dates and Opening hoursFEB 01 to MAR 23, 2013
Vernissage: 1 February 6pm
- Adam Adach
Information“Das Jahrhundert der Judenbuche” (The Century of the Jewish Beech) is the heading of Adam Adachs thoughts that he has neatly divided into a text of four sections. The Berlin exhibition, to which these thoughts belong, is prepared in a period when the German newspapers are full of the term "century". Yet the turn of the last century, also the turn of a millennium, is more than ten years back in time. Recently, however, the book “1913: Der Sommer des Jahrhunderts” (1913: The Summer of the Century) was released. In this book art historian Florian Illies describes that summer one hundred years ago, the year before the First World War began.
Felix Salten, Franz Kafka, Oskar Kokoschka, Else Lasker-Schüler, August Macke, Egon Schiele, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, as well as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, are the protagonists – people, whose deeds, works and/or atrocities would particularly shape the next hundred years.
It is a coincidence that I had just finished reading this book when I received the request to write a catalog text for Adam Adach’s exhibition.
Coincidentally Adach also writes about having stumbled upon Annette von Droste-Hülshoff and her novel “Die Judenbuche” by chance.
As the preparations of Adach’s exhibition are taking place in Berlin, it is 170 years since her novel was first released.
“Das Jahrhundert der Judenbuche”, of which the Polish-born artist who now lives mainly in France is speaking, might rather be the century in which the Nazis persecuted and systematically killed millions of Jews, than the century in which the novel was first published. The titles of Adach’s paintings are “Volksschwäne” (Folk swans), “Nazi holidays” and “Arno Breker Studio”.
Adach is known for basing his paintings on photos, as are many other artists, among them Gerhard Richter. "Nazi holidays" shows a beach scene. Sparsely-clothed people are lying or sitting on the beach or are standing at the railing watching the sea. Unrecognizable flags are hanging from the flagpoles; the sail of the boat on the horizon is as white as a flag of truce. Only the title brings cruelty to the painting. In the century of two world wars, the murderers and their families, and also those who had brought them to power, were sunning themselves on the beach. Kraft durch Freude – Strength through Joy.
As with Gerhard Richter’s portrait of charming and smiling "Uncle Rudi" wearing a Wehrmacht uniform, Adach also brings together supposed opposites. Adach’s painting "Danzig (Westerplatte)" seems to be a fairly innocuous, classical still life with a swan and a swan scull. As a former veterinary student, he found the dead object now painted in 1992 on the Westerplatte, close to Gdansk. For the inhabitants of Adach’s native country, Westerplatte is associated with much more death and suffering - "For Poland, World War II began at the Westerplatte," says Adach in his notes.
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