Particularly since his spectacular exhibition in the Romanian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Adrian Ghenie (born 1977) has been celebrated as one of the most interesting and unconventional painters of his generation. His works—painted in oils sometimes applied with a palette knife or thrown onto the canvas—have already gained entry into the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern and the Centre Pompidou, and have achieved one auction record after another in the art market. Yet neither Ghenie’s subjects nor his technique cater to public taste. The history of the “century of humiliation” (as Ghenie refers to the 20th century), and its perpetrators and victims, are the predominant sources for his collage-like compositions. These subjects are juxtaposed with heroes such as Van Gogh and Darwin, as well as depictions of himself.
At the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Romanian Pavilion showcases Darwin's Room, an exhibition of paintings by Adrian Ghenie (born 1977). The title refers not only to a recent series of portraits of (and self-portraits as) the great British naturalist, but also to Ghenie's exploration of 20th-century history as an "evolutionary laboratory."
Since the publication of his first monograph in 2009, Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie (born 1977) has established himself on both sides of the Atlantic as a preeminent painter of his generation, with his brutal canvases of faces slashed at, blurred, gnawed and erased. Ghenie intensifies the raw scream of Francis Bacon’s paintings to an even greater pitch, revisiting the Holocaust (as in one famous painting of Josef Mengele) and extending Bacon’s idiom of existential horror vividly into the present. Last year, his work featured in several museum exhibitions, including his first solo U.S. museum show at the MCA Denver and SFMoMA’s seminal group exhibition Six Lines of Flight. In March 2013, Pace Gallery presented his critically acclaimed New York debut. While Ghenie continues to explore the darker moments in European history, social and political abuses of power, as well as his personal history, his compositions have become conspicuously more complex over the years, as he has turned increasingly toward a brighter and more colorful palette, confidently shifting between figuration and abstraction. This book unites 80 of Ghenie’s key works from the past four years.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Anette Hüsch, Jürg Judin.
Power and its abuse, forced exile and migration are the themes of the painting of Adrian Ghenie (born 1977). Raised amid the propaganda of Ceausescu's Romania, Ghenie has already produced a powerful body of work in response to this inheritance of deluded and abusive dictatorship--work which in the span of just a few years has already won much attention and acclaim.