Karl-Heinz Adler, born in 1927 in Remtengrün in Germany's Vogtland region, is one of the most important representatives of concrete, postwar avant-garde art. His minimalist, geometrically inspired drawings, collages, folding art, and sculptural objects, but also the construction-accompanying works developed jointly with Friedrich Kracht, have for some time now been in the process of international rediscovery in art and architecture circles and are appreciated as pioneering artistic achievements.
Inspired by his work as an instructor in the architecture department at Dresden's Technical College, in 1957 Adler began his first collages, the 'Schichtungen' (layerings). At the end of the 1960s, the artist transposed the basic principle of seriality to the drawing: from 1967 on, he created his 'Serielle Lineaturen' (serial lineatures)—precise, large-format works in which rays and elliptical forms are condensed into elaborate compositions, some of which are reminiscent of waves or eddies. However, their hypnotic visuality does not arise from an expressive stance, but from the opposite: controlled rhythm based in a cool, engineer-like approach. The strict serial principle enables an endlessly rich production of pictures. And this is also the key to understanding why Adler's two- and three-dimensional oeuvre is so relevant and inspiring today, precisely for a younger generation of artists. Repetition, modulation, the effects of minimal shifts in grids, and the conscious negation of the producer in favour of a technoid-cool overall aesthetic are also the central building blocks of the electronic culture that developed in the 1990s and that shapes many areas of Western culture to this day.
Extract from a text by Kito Nedo. Courtesy Galerie Eigen + Art.