Adrian Ghenie: I Have Turned My Only Face by Oona Doyle (ed.)


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SKU: 9782910055875 Categories: ,


As a boy, Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie came across a catalogue of Dutch paintings from the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The book had a profound effect on him, forming the basis for his encyclopaedic knowledge of art history.

Over many years, the future artist copied step-by-step the reproductions of the masterpieces in the Saint Petersburg museum, eventually arriving at his own artistic style. Ghenie’s paintings are marked by a combination of blurred, rough textures and inclusions of light and colour that are at times shapeless, but elsewhere sharply outlined with the precise, almost photographic definition of individual elements. This play of contrasts produces a collage-like impression, and creates a hybrid, dynamic and almost cinematic experience. Ghenie rejects the use of the brush, preferring palette knives and spatulas — along with a restrained colour scheme that is disrupted by chromatic explosions, like glitches in a digital image. This combination of the chaotic and the orderly affects the viewer on an almost physiological level. In these new paintings, the artist has deconstructed the image more than ever before, inviting the viewer to decipher the shifting forms in his sensuously painted canvases. As he writes, “the eyes don’t recognize the figure but the brain knows it is there.” These works continue Ghenie’s sustained engagement with the history of painting, recontextualising the aesthetic strategies of his predecessors, including Henri Rousseau, Vincent van Gogh and Théodore Géricault. 

88 pp. hardback

22.6cm x 1.52cm x 28.5cm

748.4 g

Published by The State Hermitage Museum/Galerie Thaddaeus (December 2020)

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