Adrian Ghenie’s (b. 1977, Baia Mare, Romania) oil paintings unearth feelings of vulnerability, frustration, or desire, often drawing on human experience and ideas of the collective unconscious. His practice conflates and extends historical painting techniques, displaying both a Baroque mastery of chiaroscuro and a gestural handling of paint indebted to Abstract Expressionism.
He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2012–2013); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kuns (S.M.A.K.), Ghent (2010–2011); and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2009–2010). His work has been included in exhibitions at the Palazzo Grassi, François Pinault Foundation, Venice; Tate Liverpool; Prague Biennial; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, among others. In 2015, he represented Romania at the Venice Biennale.
Ghenie’s work is held in a number of public collections, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp; SFMOMA; and S.M.A.K., Ghent. In 2005, Ghenie co-founded Galeria Plan B, a production and exhibition space for contemporary art.
Pace Gallery is pleased to present Adrian Ghenie: Recent Paintings, an exhibition of twelve new paintings and five collages. Adrian Ghenie is widely recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation for his oil paintings that blur the lines between figuration and abstraction. The exhibition at Pace is Ghenie’s first solo show in New York in almost four years. The new paintings illustrate the progression of Ghenie’s works toward greater and greater abstraction, while maintaining allegorical figuration that alludes to history and to the present. Recent Paintings will be on view from January 19 through February 18, 2017, at 510 West 25th Street.
In this recent body of work, the five collages give the viewer the opportunity to see the artist’s early intentions for his finished paintings. Since 2014, Ghenie has increasingly relied on the use of collage to develop the structure of his work. These collages that developed into paintings are a blueprint for fully understanding the juxtapositions that the artist makes between the past and present. In these new works, current social and political upheaval in Europe becomes critical subject matter, alongside the dynamic reimagining of pictorial reality. Ghenie’s thick brushstrokes, informed by the collages, dismantle subject and landscape alike to attain the dream-like nature of the finished paintings. In Recent Paintings, Ghenie continues this obscuration in three self-portraits, encouraging the viewer to question representation and perception of the self. With bold color and application, Ghenie has created works at once visually alluring and confounding.
Born in 1977 in Baia Mare, Romania, Adrian Ghenie was formally trained as a representational painter. He adopted conceptual tendencies from Dada that he synthesizes with his rigorous technical abilities, displaying both a Baroque mastery of chiaroscuro and a gestural handling of paint indebted to Abstract Expressionism. In 2008, Ghenie’s paintings began to explore themes of history, memory, and the former Communist regime of his native Romania, not through biographical reflection but rather through a direct address of the legacies of historical figures. The imagery in his paintings is largely derived from historical sources incorporated into dreamlike or cinematic vignettes in which figures appear in haunting interiors.
Adrian Ghenie has been represented by Pace since 2011. This is the third solo exhibition of his work with the gallery.