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Adrian Ghenie

Artist 224 Adrian Ghenie Finding Deconstruction Painting Adrian Ghenie (born 1977) is a contemporary Romanian painter. He lives and works in Cluj, Berlin, and London. Ghenie uses a palette knife and stencils instead of traditional painting tools and brushes. He is known for his portraits of 20th century figures, particularly those associated with genocide and mass suffering, that appear in his work gnawed and slashed, blurred and speckled. His painterly style has been compared to that of Francis Bacon.

His work is characterized by macabre scenery and defaced figures as he investigates the violent aspects of Europe’s history. In his own words, “If someone asked me how I see painting, I'd say that, after it lost the illustrative rôle it had in centuries past, when, because there were no video cameras yet, you had to illustrate certain things, painting is the only medium for expressing the visceral nature of the world.

Any painting is the result of a physical interaction, you can't imagine how inert a colour is when you put it on your palette, the decomposed version, blobs of colour awaiting transformation. They're only transformed through a choreography which can't be prescribed, there are no recipes, nor knowing exactly what quantities to use, what follows is a Brownian motion dictated by my insides, by my moods. If my meniscus is playing up, then after two hours of standing up I'd need to sit down. And then I'd paint in a chair, it's a completely different dynamic. Your health issues, your limits, you can see all these in what you paint. It's all about your viscerality. No other medium can do that.”

In explaining his place in the art world Adrian Ghenie explains, “I'm interested in history that’s linked to the the human figure. A certain type of deconstruction interests me, the same way it interested Picasso and Bacon. In the 20th century there were two moments when the way human figures were painted completely changed — Picasso and Bacon. Picasso's deconstruction is inspired by African art and the Middle Ages, he sometimes painted eyes on only one side of the face, but the figures are very decorative. There's no texture, no meat,they're just like a collage suggesting human figures. Bacon creates the same deconstruction, but it's all very carnal, you've got the impression that his model's a head that’s been cut off by a warlord and then stuck back on again.

When I found an image taken from a film of a pie fight, completely by accident, I asked myself what exactly I was seeing, in fact: a man or a woman, with bits of cake running down their face. One eye is clear and looking at you, while the other is covered by smeared cake. A deconstruction is taking place, but it's not one created by me. My paintings look similar to Francis Bacon's work, but he was actually the one doing the deconstructing, using an internal mechanism, while I take them ready-made, already deconstructed, from the stock of images I have to hand.

That's what's new in the world: you've got access to an infinite database of images and data. I haven't done anything else apart from just take from that, using the traditional deconstruction of human images, which the cinema world has supplied me with. I just scan my options and take whatever seems expressive enough or 'paintable.' People say that Francis Bacon is one of my inspirations. Yes, our work is similar, but he created them, while I find them.” #adrianghenie #painting #abstractpainting #contemporarypainting #findingdeconstruction #artblog #artistoftheday #artistsoninstagram #artresearch #celebratingart #investigatingart #blog #artist #art #contemporaryart #artistbio #arthistory #artresearch Sources consulted:…/adrian-ghenie-my-method-is-managing…


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