Adolf Fleischmann Retrospective

April 30th — November 6th 2016
Daimler Contemporary Berlin

The Daimler Contemporary is simultaneously holding exhibitions by two artists who both have biographical roots in Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg, and are also known for artworks produced in the USA: Adolf Fleischmann and Dieter Blum. The Fleischmann Retrospective furthermore continues the >Classical : Modern< exhibition series, through which South German artists from the Daimler Art Collection since 2001 have been discussed in a broader, European art context.
For our Adolf Fleischmann (1892 – 1968) exhibition – the first Berlin retrospective of his work – we will be exhibiting around sixty paintings, collages and gouaches. The central focus is on his significant late work from his New York period. Dieter Blum (*1936, now living in Düsseldorf) was invited to a shoot for Marlboro in the USA in 1992. This resulted in a series comprising around sixty photos, only fragments of which have previously been exhibited; it was on the basis of this series of pictures that Blum became the most widely and internationally known photographer in this field.
In the context of the Adolf Fleischmann retrospective, we will also be presenting commissioned artworks, created for the Daimler Art Collection by Hartmut Böhm and Andreas Schmid.

Adolf Fleischmann, who is represented by a significant group of artworks in the Daimler Art Collection, was an outstanding abstract artist of Germany and the USA in the post-1945 period. As part of its ‘Classical : Modern’ series, the Daimler Art Collection is holding the first ever retrospective of this artist’s work in Berlin. Featuring around sixty artworks, and spanning three decades of the artist’s work, this comprehensive exhibition presents the artist’s major work from his 1952-1975 New York period, supplemented by representative pictures created in Europe in the 1940s.

The artworks chosen for the Berlin exhibition are largely artworks which were not seen in the Adolf Fleischmann exhibition at the Museum für Konkrete Kunst Ingolstadt (Oct. 2015 – Feb. 2016). This helps the two exhibitions to complement each other – with the addition of the thematically-focused presentation at the Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité (April – Sep. 2016, transferred from Ingolstadt) – and to bring Fleischmann’s artwork back into focus for the year 2016.

The German/English publication accompanying this exhibition will offer, for the first time, a thorough examination of Fleischmann’s artwork in the context of the American abstract painting scene of the period. This publication – which may very well reawaken interest in Fleischmann’s artwork in the USA, also – will include early texts relating to the reception of Fleischmann’s American artworks previously published in the 1950s and 1960s in inaccessible contexts.

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  • Saturday April 30th 2016
    Guided Tour: Biographies – From Esslingen to the USA
    Adolf Fleischmann and Dieter Blum, who are both being exhibited at Daimler Contemporary, are two artists who both have biographical roots in Esslingen in Baden-Württemberg, and are known partly for their artworks created in the USA. This tour will trace the careers of both artists, and will discuss aesthetic, historical, and theoretical decisions with a significant bearing on their artworks’ development.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday May 21st 2016
    Guided Tour: Two American Artists?
    Based on selected examples from our current exhibition, this tour will explore the question of ‘American-ness’ in the late work of Adolf Fleischmann and in Dieter Blum’s photograph series ‘Cowboys: The First Shooting’ (1992).
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday June 11th 2016
    Guided Tour: On the Musicality of the Linear
    This tour will examine the question of how light, color, and geometric patterns are used to give rhythm to and to dynamize abstract/linear space/image creations.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday July 2nd 2016
    Guided Tour: Seriality, Relief and Structure – Modulations as Visual Vocabulary
    This tour is a quest for the recurring motif elements and ‘spiritual landscapes’ of the exhibited artists and their artworks.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday July 23rd 2016
    Guided Tour: Dialogue Interactions
    During this tour, the positions of different artists will be compared, in a dialogue process: revealing not only their unique qualities, but also their parallels and affinities in addressing artistic issues. Andreas Schmid’s light stelae installation, for instance, is shown in dialogue with Adolf Fleischmann’s work: the vibrations of color in Fleischmann’s work echo the spatial and temporal movements of colored light in Schmid’s work.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday August 13th 2016
    Guided Tour: Painterly and Photographic Landscapes – from Meadows to Marlboro Country
    In spite of their abstract structures, Adolf Fleischmann’s graduated and rhythmic color surfaces create a sense of space and color that has its origins in landscapes and in urban architecture. Dieter Blum creates landscape images of a different kind: with more success than almost any other advertising campaign of past decades, Marlboro Country created its own world, connecting the cigarette brand with the world of the cowboy life. This tour also attempts to trace the historical roots of the ‘Marlboro Country’ myth.
    The tour will be held in German language.

  • Saturday September 3rd 2016
    Guided Tour: Wild Energies – Rhythmizing & Dynamizing Picture Spaces
    It is no accident that Adolf Fleischmann uses the words ‘fugue’ and ‘opus’ in the titles of his pictorial compositions – his visual music scores produce a complex, rhythmically crafted pictorial space with vibrating color effects. Vertical lines that appear to float, following their own rhythm, are a significant factor in the theme of color extended into space. Dieter Blum similarly succeeds in creating pulsing movement factors in the medium of photography – spectacular ‘speed ornaments’, the rapid movements of beast and rider. Lassos whirling through the air create dancing momentary visual lines and optical blurs – taking the visible to the point of dissolution.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Thursday September 8th 2016
    Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité, Daimler Contemporary Berlin
    Adolf Fleischmann as an Abstract Painter, a Medical Drafts Man and Moulage Maker – Two Exhibitions within a Shared Discourse
    In the exhibition “Adolf Fleischmann Retrospective”, the Daimler Art Collection looks at the late paintings of Adolf Fleischmann, discussing his role as an American abstract painter. In the exhibition “Surfaces: Adolf Fleischmann”, the Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité brings Fleischmann’s artistic work together with his professional activities as a sketch maker and a maker of moulages – accurate wax representations of diseased body parts. This evening event with tours of both exhibitions creates a shared discourse between the two exhibitions.

    Both tours will be held in German language. Places for a limited number of attendees only. You can register at:

    Beginning at 6.00 p.m.: A tour led by the director, Thomas Schnalke. Meeting place: the checkout area of the Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité
    7.00 p.m.: A shuttle bus will take you to the Daimler Contemporary Berlin at Potsdamer Platz
    7.15 p.m.: A tour led by the curator, Renate Wiehager, and the event’s conclusion at the Daimler Contemporary Berlin
  • Saturday September 10th 2016
    Children's Workshop
    Our 2-hour workshop is designed for primary school children aged between 6 and 10 years. At Daimler Contemporary we will carry out experiments with colors and techniques, linked to the current exhibitions ‘Adolf Fleischmann. Retrospective’, ‘Dieter Blum. Cowboys’ and ‘Vis-á-Vis with Adolf Fleischmann: Hartmut Böhm and Andreas Schmid’. We will learn how art can be created by light. And we will realize abstract paintings and collages whereby we explore the tension between art and advertising.
    Please register via mail to Admission is free. The number of participants is approximately 10 children. The event will be held in German language.
  • Saturday September 24th 2016
    Guided Tour: Concept and Line
    This tour focuses on the intersections of concrete art, minimal art and concept art in the oeuvre of the contemporary artists Hartmut Böhm and Andreas Schmid, asking to what extent a relationship exists between these artworks and the abstract tendencies in the late work of Adolf Fleischmann, created in America.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Saturday October 15th 2016
    Guided Tour: Art-Historical Contextualizings – of Inspirations and Emulators
    Artists use the history of art like a toolbox, referencing existing artworks or incorporating traditional forms into their own work as a way of transforming and incorporating standard cultural elements. This tour focuses on this artistic practice, attempting to trace wide-ranging reciprocal relationships with inspirations and templates. For instance, the American photographer Richard Prince draws on resources from the past in his image-stealing rephotographings of Dieter Blum’s cowboy motifs, and Andreas Schmid’s space-light drawing quotes painterly trends from the 1960s.
    The tour will be held in German language.
  • Thursday October 27th 2016
    Adolf Fleischmann: An American Abstract Painter? An Exhibition Tour Led by the Curator, Renate Wiehager
    The “Adolf Fleischmann Retrospective” exhibition currently on display at the Daimler Contemporary concentrates on his late work, created between 1952 and 1965 in New York. Together with the accompanying publication “Adolf Fleischmann: An American abstract painter?”, Renate Wiehager, curator and director of the Daimler Art Collection, ventures a new reception of Fleischmann’s lyrical/abstract compositional art. Whilst the artist has previously been discussed primarily in the context of contemporary art tendencies in Europe during the post-war period and 1960s Op Art, Renate Wiehager seeks to contextualize his work with the abstract American painting of the era: the New York School inspired by Mondrian, Josef Albers’ concept of “perceptual painting”, the Washington Color School and the early work of Ad Reinhardt, Jack Youngerman, and Alfred Jensen.

    The tour will be held in German language.




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