Karl Heinz Adler
Entwurf für Wandgestaltung (Draft for walldesign), 1972, 1972

On his many years of teaching and research activity in the field of architecture and building sculpture, Karl Heinz Adler said: “We wanted to use our resources and opportunities to aesthetically construct a new society. Thus, what could be more natural than to engage in building work, or to get involved with teaching work in the training of architects”. Adler applied the principles and approaches of his non-applied to the architectural art context – e.g. murals and facades – but his activities on the larger scale also fed back into his fine arts work. All these artistic fields of action unite Adler’s “cosmic interest in the world with the social impetus of the construction generation in the former GDR and the technologism of modern architecture”. In 1955, Adler began experimenting with ceramic and cast stone technologies (at the TH Dresden and elsewhere). With Friedrich Kracht, he developed the modular concrete form stone system (from 1968), which can still be seen in east German cities today. In these projects, Adler acted in accordance with Bauhaus maxims by creating a new synthesis of function-oriented architectural praxis and autonomous artistic design. The Draft for a wall design from 1972 acquired by the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection can also be read in the context of the American Abstract Artists (AAA), who first created abstract murals in public spaces in the 1930s. Adler was likewise able to realise his design during the later 1970s (which saw a cultural and political thaw take place in the GDR), in a state-owned company, the VEB Herrenmode (lit. people-owned company for men’s fashion) in Dresden. Executed in latex paint, the mural extended across a surface area of 3 x 18 m. In the early 1990s, however, the artwork was irretrievably destroyed.

Karl Heinz Adler

* 1927 Remtengrün, D
† 2018 Dresden, D
Karl Heinz Adler
Serielle Lineaturen über Kreis, 1967
Collage, velour paper, silver paper, graphite on cardboard

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