Abraham David Christian

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Born in 1952 in Düsseldorf, Abraham David Christian is one of the most important German artists of post-war abstract art. The much debated artist and university professor Joseph Beuys became aware of Abraham David Christian and brought him to his side as a student at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

At the age of 19, Abraham David Christian took part in documenta 5. As early as 1973, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf opened Christian’s first solo exhibition. This was soon followed by further solo exhibitions at the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld, the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, and the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, among others. Christian himself, however, shuns any media hype about his person. He prefers to let his works speak for themselves. At the age of 24, Abraham David Christian was chosen by Norbert Kricke to be the youngest professor of sculpture at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. From the beginning, Christian focused on sculptural and plastic works, which he mainly made from earth, paper, plaster, iron, or bronze.

The abstract sculptures and drawings convince through a deep balance and equilibrium, which is not only due to the geometry, but also the pictorial representation of the works.


Cultural impressions as an artistic impulse for Abraham David Christian

Christian has always been inspired by journeys and stays in faraway countries in Asia, Africa, and America. The insight into foreign cultures and the return to the elements of nature open up other forms of life and expression, which the artist processes. Basic geometric elements are combined in his works or linked in different variations, seemingly endless bodies enclose each other and form a metaphor of infinity.

In this, his works go far beyond the representation of familiar forms and emphasize their aesthetic autonomy, which mainly consists in having a universal and non-culturally bound effect. It is difficult to interpret his works. Rather, however, they can be sensed and seem surprisingly familiar when viewed over a longer period. The additive principle of the forms often harbors something contemplative and invites us to ponder.


Significant stages in the life of Abraham David Christian

In 1978, he was awarded the Villa Romana Prize, which is considered the oldest art prize still offered in Germany. The artist, who has taught at Keio University in Tokyo, Yamaguchi University in Japan, the National Art University in Hangzhou, China, at Seoul National University, South Korea, as well as at universities in Europe and the USA, lives alternately in Düsseldorf, New York City and Hayama (Japan).

His works have long been part of the holdings of important private collections and museums around the world, for example, the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT), the Centre Pompidou Paris, the Musée des Beaux Arts Calais, the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

CV

1972 – Participation in documenta 5, Kassel.

1973 – Municipal Art Gallery, Dusseldorf.

1976 – Museum of Arts Bochum, Bochum.

1978 – Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld.

1982 – Participation in documenta 7, Kassel; Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Westphalian Art Association, Münster.

1983 – Art Museum, Dusseldorf; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt.

1985 – Art Association, Ulm; Sprengel Museum, Hanover; Mannheim Art Association, Mannheim.

1988 – Ravensburg Art Museum; Musée des Beaux – Arts, Calais; Gatodo Gallery, Tokyo.

1989 – Ulm Museum, Ulm.

1990 – Edwin-Scharff House, Neu-Ulm.

1992 – Galeria d’Arte Contemporanea, Rimini.

1994 – Sprengel Museum, Hanover.

1998 – Tallinna Kunstihoone, Tallinn.

2000 – Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg;Museo de Bellas Artes, Montevideo.

2003 – Blaubeuren Monastery, Blaubeuren; New Museum Weserburg, Bremen.

2004 – von der Heydt Museum and Barmen Art Gallery, Wuppertal.

2010 – MKM Museum Küppersmühle for Modern Art, Duisburg.

2011 – Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, Hayama.

2012 – St. Reinoldi, Dortmund.

2014 – Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, Tiefenbronn.

2016 – Pforzheim Art Museum, Pforzheim.

2020 – Bochum Art Museum, Bochum.

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