Adolf Fleischmann
WV O 96 Opus # 19, 1954

Adolf Fleischmann, who was an outstanding abstract artist of Germany and the USA in the post-1945 period, is represented by a significant group of artworks in the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. Born in the South-German city of Esslingen, he settled in the USA in 1952 when he was 60 years old. But nonetheless he was soon acclaimed in the mecca of art on America’s east coast as an “American abstract artist,” and as a genuine, original figure of stature in the context of abstract art inspired by Mondrian. His oeuvre oscillates between European concrete art and Op Art on the one hand, and American abstract art, the New York School and the art inspired by Mondrian, with Josef Albers’ concept of “perceptual painting” and the Washington Color School, on the other hand. The complex variations of his designs and the intimacy of his colors result in paintings with a very specific appearance. Their geometrical forms play with restrained drama against complex layers of narrow color streaks, and are carefully divided into movements and counter-movements of classical purity and order. Opus #19, 1954, represents the pictorial syntax that Fleischmann developed in his late work: overlapping L-shapes, called ‘équere’, either monochrome or disrupted by horizontal or vertical parallels, are the constructive element from this point onwards.

Adolf Fleischmann

* 1892 Esslingen, D
† 1968 Stuttgart, D

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