Abraham David Christian

(Germany) *1952 in Düsseldorf

Abraham David Christian, who has exhibited twice in documenta, is represented in leading collections all over the world. In “Blickachsen 11” he is showing several of his large-format bronzes. Both the spiral forms of the “Interconnected Sculpture” series, of which one example is on display on the Ferdinandsplatz in Bad Homburg and one in Kronberg, and the monumental group “Hayama 7 (Towers of Wisdom)“ in the Bad Homburg castle gardens, attest to a universal language of endlessly extendable geometric forms. Christian designed the seven, roughly four-metre high, “Towers of Wisdom” in Hayama, in Japan, where he periodically lives and works. Each bronze consists of a single basic geometric element which is repeated several times. The upwardly thrusting dynamic of the sculptures is combined with a quiet, intrinsic power. On the one hand, they are reminiscent of traditional Asian pagodas, on the other Christian’s figures go beyond a mere depiction of familiar forms. Rather, they emphasize their aesthetic independence, one that consists above all in their universal, culturally non-specific effect, inviting viewers to a reflective contemplation.

In both Bad Homburg and Kronberg, “Blickachsen 11” offers an insight into the sculptural work of Abraham David Christian, one of the leading protagonists of postwar abstract art. At the age of just 19, Christian took part in documenta 5 – and became involved in a legendary boxing match with Joseph Beuys, his teacher at the Düsseldorf art academy, because of their opposing conceptions of art. From early on, Christian showed his highly autonomous works in numerous international exhibitions, until he temporarily withdrew from the art scene in the late 1980s, to devote himself to extensive travels. With its abstract formal language, Christian’s work engages with the formal repertoire of the most diverse cultures. Thus his totemic “Sculpture” of 2008 is made up of simple geometric forms additively joined together. His “Interconnected Sculpture”, by contrast – like its variant in Bad Homburg – is composed of numerous similar-looking elements which have been cast to form a dynamic, yet closed, spiral. The marked lines on the outside of the coil bear witness to the eponymous joins, by means of which an infinite extension of this sculpture seems possible.