"Relief Painting # 12", 1960
Oil and corrugated cardboard on canvas
11.42 x 8.66 in / framed 18.5 x 15.35 in
Signed verso, dated, titled
Cat. Rais. No.R14
- with artist's frame -
Über das Werk
In his later works the New York-domiciled Adolf Richard Fleischmann deployed a minimum of artistic devices until his death in 1952: horizontal and vertical stripes on a rectangular and oval ground, rarely - as evidenced here in this present "Relief Painting # 12” - augmented by further geometric forms. Predominant in the work of Adolf Fleischmann, whose life was shaped by the horrors experienced in two world wars, is a reduced palette, generally derived from the primary colours, together with white and grey tones. Having practised his profession as a designer of book covers at the Workshop for Graphic Art in Stuttgart during WWI, he was subsequently employed as a scientific draughtsman at a large regional hospital in Zurich. By 1933 he had already left Germany, moving initially to Mallorca, then to Italy for two years before finally settling in Paris in 1938. In 1940 he began his 5-year-long flight across France, which was frequently interrupted by periods of internment. During his time in France he became acquainted with the art of the French Cubists and with the rhythmic, coloured forms characterising the canvases of Delaunay. The acclaimed art critic Michel Seuphor also introduced Fleischmann to the work of the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. These seminal influences both broadened and intensified Fleischmann's own artistic ambitions. Within his Œuvre he went on to formulate his own principle of rhythmic geometric forms in which no attempt is made to obscure his own distinctive style or the technical prowess underpinning his art. Rather more his works embody the subtle fusion of cool rationality (in the formal rigour) and lyrical peinture (in the style of the craftsmanship). Fleischmann's works speak in an intimate and highly personal idiom.