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Adam Adach
Robert Fleck "North-eastern Light"

   Adam Adach’s painting reached maturity during those past few years. The space became extensive, including a dimension – urban or urbanistic – which expresses a calm, steady and unlimited pictorial place. Devoid of traditional effect of monumentality, his canvases acquire an intrinsic dimension and a surprising inner magnitude. The palette of colors and their light are even more amazing. It is a unique use of light which marks the artist out in the concert of the present-day generation painters in which this medium occupies again a considerable place on the international scene. The light of Adam Adach’s painting is not similar to anything known. It often comes from a preparation of backgrounds like a sort of “polish”. Figures, objects and semi-urban views are unfurling on this surface so to define a dimensional axis and a figural space. But things are less obvious than such description could suggest. The backgrounds with their complex tonalities are not opposite in a mechanical way to colors of foreground figures. Backgrounds and figures answer each other, dialogue and so start to float all in all. Fragments of colors included in the background will serve to represent figures and to draw the space. Thus a tremendous delicacy and constant comings and goings between the different elements are drawing up, bringing a peculiar pleasure to painting. Such exchanges and tonality links are imaginable in this medium only, and Adam Adach conceives it with admirable mastery and pictorial culture. But it is not a matter of virtuosity. This peculiar combination produces an intense luminosity which is opaque also. This luminosity corresponds to the fact that the pictorial space seems unlimited and closed up at the same time and cannot escape from the implacable law of opaque backgrounds both clear and impenetrable (like a foggy day under a sky which no ray will be able to go through - like winter days in Baltic countries). The contradictory impression of pictorial joy with a half-shade world defines Adam Adach’s paintings. These are much marked by content than simplicity of forms and subjects suggests at first sight.
   The second intense moment of this painting is constituted by the link with photography, more precisely with the function of the mechanical eye of the camera. The composition and above all the picture are determined each time by photography or a look specifically photographic. For Adam Adach it is not a question of painting photography, of combining the painting to the glamorous picture or to the current climate catching which photography represents better than any other medium. The real relationship is in fact that photographic picture frees painting from the necessity of making a composition up with introducing there a representation of the outer world. This entails the very concept of painting beyond pictorial self-thought. Thus the connection with the media is very deep although discreet. It opens up an object and a figuration already made; thanks to these, the figurative painting can become as free and precise as abstract and structural painting, without suffering its interior limits. Thanks to this approach, Adam Adach is standing at the centre of primordial works of his generation. What distinguishes him in this context is the fineness of his process entirely directed towards pictorial values (and not intended to put under any pretext of fashion and people magazines imagery into the painting sphere like many present painters in vogue do). Pre-established photographic picture frees here the work on light and on colors. Adam Adach’s post-photographic process never begins an end in itself nor technical feat, nor a speculation seeking photographic seduction in painting. In the contrary, it is a question of freeing the light and colors connection and trying out the different constituents of painting with more freedom. Adam Adach’s recent works take over from the most elaborated abstract works of our time – we could think among others about Bernard Frize – going against the paradigm of structural painting with nonchalance. All-made composition opened up by photographic objective deletes for the painter the necessity of thinking to “look picture”. So he can entirely deal with elements which define his world: the light (intense and opaque) and colors (faded but deep which surround the objects).
   A third constituent aspect of Adam Adach’s painting is the choice of subjects which are far to be neutral. Without telling any story, figurative contents have a precise role in his paintings: it describes a highly personal world marked by indelible experiences. Some of his paintings show anonymous urban zones, half abandoned, where life is continuing in spite of politic and economic changes that came up those last fifteen years. The exaggerated distance between the buildings reminds us of certain experiences of socialist countries of Soviet hemisphere. Those paintings are amongst the most complex and the most singular of Adam Adach’s works. It constitutes an introduction towards a half melancholy and half disillusioned world which is the one of post-communist countries in the 21st century. A certain number of other motives take part in that description of this world. We see mines, scattered villages, hidden houses behind great Baltic forest trees, an underwater and scenes with mythical connotation like this rescue by plane on the ice field, or those minuscule figures in snowy expanses. Here again, Adam Adach’s painting is never literary or nostalgic insofar that the motif remains serving a register of lights and colors which is used as a framework and a structure for a closed world in spite of its spaces. Those “Nordic” paintings matter amongst the most originals and convincing ones of the new generation of artists. Each one is constructed and thought in a precise and individual way. It is always a question of installing a formal device which allows liberating light and colors towards original tints using the grid formed by photographic picture. Those paintings as a whole compose a personal account which is distant and free from the post communist condition in north-eastern countries of Europe.
   The same touch of melancholia is also found in “Occidental” motifs paintings. The park subject like an enclave of metropolitan life is often kept. It is treated with more saturated colors, nevertheless subjected to the same light system coming from the background of the canvas; subjects are always chosen to enable the painter to realize large flat tints, reaching a three-dimensional look and introducing the strange zones in an innocuous world, seemingly well-known by Occidental citizens. The motives of park, of mountainous landscape or weather station thus outline ways to describe an empty space without communication in which human figures suffer a certain form of loneliness. Those paintings avoid any spectacular trick. The painter limits himself to the pure still life without movement and story. He avoids any expressionist posture and realizes really expressive paintings yet. In the intense and opaque light of his paintings, the world is closed on itself, without issue, but full of omnipresent poetry in the exquisite colors in a foggy day.