Adrian Ghenie

Renowned for his rich psychological scenes and enigmatic portraits, Adrian Ghenie is one of the most celebrated painters of his generation. Melding personal biography with fragments of political history, Ghenie’s works hybridise art-historical techniques, from the dramatic chiaroscuro of the Renaissance to the action painting of Abstract Expressionism.

Ghenie typically plans his compositions using collaged, cutout imagery printed from online sources. More recently, he has employed a similar strategy in his drawing practice, creating multifaceted surfaces by erasing and reapplying charcoal to paper. Over two decades, Ghenie has established a fragmented pictorial language which straddles past and present, memory and myth, and abstraction and figuration.

Born in Baia Mare, Romania in 1977, Ghenie studied at the University of Art and Design in Cluj Napoca before graduating in 2001. After working as an artist in Vienna and Sicily, Ghenie returned to Cluj again in 2005, co-founding the exhibition and production space Galeria Plan B with artist and curator Mihai Pop. A significant venue for representing Romanian artists, the gallery housed Ghenie’s first solo exhibition in 2006.

In 2008, Galeria Plan B opened a second space in Berlin, an expansion which led Ghenie to divide his time between the two cities, before settling in Berlin in 2013. In 2015, he represented Romania at the 56th Venice Biennale with his exhibition Darwin’s Room.

From the start of his career, Ghenie’s paintings have explored the psyche of historical figures, particularly those perpetrators of violent tumult such as Hitler, Göring and Nicolae Ceausescu. These figures, their likenesses typically lifted from historical sources, are often staged in dark, dramatically lit spaces informed by Ghenie’s interest in cinema and his admiration for Francis Bacon. His Pie Fight series of paintings fuse the slapstick of 1920s silent comedies with shadowy moments from the past century. ‘What interests me is the texture of history,’ Ghenie has said.

Ghenie’s work has attracted exponential interest since his first appearance at auction in 2011, with his seminal painting Nickelodeon (2008) selling at Christie’s London for just over £7 million seven years later. His work continues to gain momentum on today’s market, with his recent works fetching record-breaking prices at auction.

ADRIAN GHENIE (B.1977)

Pie Fight Interior 12

ADRIAN GHENIE (B.1977)

The Collector I

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Charles Darwin at the Age of 75

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Degenerate Art

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

On the Road to Tarascon 2

Adrian Ghenie (né en 1977)

The Flight into Egypt I

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

The Collector 4

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Turning Point 1

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Turning Point 1

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Burning Books

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Babe in the Woods

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Antelope Attacked near Gas Pipe 2

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

The Hunter (Study for Kaiser Wilhelm Institute)

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Self-Portrait in 1945

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Untitled (Study for Kaiser Wilhelm Institute)

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Interior 9

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Self-Portrait with Animal Mask

Adrian Ghenie (B. 1977)

Flight into Egypt

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Self Portrait in 1945

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

The Lidless Eye

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Self-Portrait

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

The Blue Rain

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Study 4

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Interior

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Study for "The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute"

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Study

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Study

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

The Surgeon and His Soul (Study for Kaiser Wilhelm Institute)

Adrian Ghenie (né en 1977)

Charles Darwin as a Young Man

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Pie Fight Study

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Pie Fight Study 2

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Crawl under your desktop, out of line of windows to avoid heat flash Burns, falling plaster

Adrian Ghenie (B. 1977)

Ironic History

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Untitled (Study for Self-Portrait)

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Untitled (Self Portrait)

ADRIAN GHENIE (B. 1977)

Study for The Blue Rain

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Basement Feeling

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Study for 'The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute'

Adrian Ghenie (b. 1977)

Stalin's Tomb