Adrian Ghenie

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Adrian Ghenie
Oliver Mark - Adrian Ghenie, Berlin 2014.jpg
Portrait of Adrian Ghenie by Oliver Mark, Berlin 2014, Collection of the Bukovina Museum
Born (1977-08-13) 13 August 1977 (age 41)
Baia Mare, Romania
ResidenceBerlin, Germany
Known forPainting

Adrian Ghenie (born 13 August 1977, Baia Mare) is a contemporary Romanian painter.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

The son of a dentist, he studied fine arts at the Arts and Crafts School in Baia Mare between 1991 and 1994.[2] He is a graduate of the Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca (2001).[1]


Ghenie lives and works in Cluj, Berlin, and London.[3] In 2005, he co-founded Galeria Plan B[4] in Cluj, together with Mihai Pop, a production and exhibition space for contemporary art.[5] In 2008 Plan B opened a permanent exhibition space in Berlin.[4]

His work has been widely exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, including at Tate Liverpool, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.[3]

In June 2014 the oil on canvas painting "The Fake Rothko" was sold for £1,426,000 ($2,428,140).[6]

In February 2016, the large oil on canvas painting "The Sunflowers of 1937" inspired by Vincent van Gogh's famous "Sunflowers" was sold in London for £3,177,000 at a Sotheby's auction, marking it the most expensive painting sold by the Romanian artist.

Before the auction, the value of the painting was estimated between £400,000 and £600,000 . It belonged to the Galerie Judin of Berlin, who had purchased it from the artist.


Ghenie’s work is represented in numerous major museum and public collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent.[3][6]

Style and technique[edit]

Ghenie does not use traditional tools of the painter or brushes, but a palette knife and stencils.[1] He paints portraits of 20th century figures, particularly those associated with genocide and mass suffering, that appear in his work gnawed and slashed, blurred and speckled.

His painterly style has been compared to that of Francis Bacon.[7]


2015 Adrian Ghenie: Darwin’s Room, Romanian Pavilion, 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Adrian Ghenie, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Adrian Ghenie, CAC Málaga, Malaga
Adrian Ghenie: Golems, Pace Gallery, London
Adrian Ghenie: Berlin Noir, Galerie Judin, Berlin
Adrian Ghenie, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
2013 On the Road to … Tarascon (with Navid Nuur), Galeria Plan B, Berlin
Adrian Ghenie: New Paintings, Pace Gallery, New York, NY
2012 Adrian Ghenie: Pie-Fights and Pathos, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO
2011 Adrian Ghenie, Haunch of Venison, London
Adrian Ghenie, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
2010 Adrian Ghenie, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent
Adrian Ghenie: The Hunted, Nolan Judin, Berlin
Adrian Ghenie, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Adrian Ghenie, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
Adrian Ghenie: Darkness for an Hour, Haunch of Venison, London
Adrian Ghenie, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest
2008 Adrian Ghenie: The Flight into Egypt, Nolan Judin, Berlin
Adrian Ghenie: Works on Paper, Galeria Plan B, Berlin
Adrian Ghenie, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
2007 Adrian Ghenie: Shadow of a Daydream, Haunch of Venison, Zurich
They said this place does not exist, Wohnmaschine, Berlin
Dig and Hide, Chung King Project, Los Angeles, CA
2006 If You Open It You’ll Get Dirty, Galeria Plan B, Cluj

Selected Group Exhibitions[edit]

2014 I will go there, take me home (with Pieter Hugo and Olaf Brzeski), Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC), Belfast
Love Story: Anne & Wolfgang Titze Collection, Winter Palace and 21er Haus, Belvedere, Vienna
A FEW GRAMS OF RED, YELLOW, BLUE: New Romanian Art, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
2013 Painting Forever, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Romanian Scenes, Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris
Hotspot Cluj: New Romanian Art, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen
Nightfall, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
2012 Francis Bacon and the Existential Condition in Contemporary Art, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
The Castle in the Air: Séance of Imagination, Centre of Culture ZAMEK, Poznan
Nightfall, MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen
Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
European Travellers: Art from Cluj Today, Műcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest
Beaufort04, Triennial of Contemporary Art by the Sea, Middelkerke/Westende
2011 One of a Thousand Ways to Defeat Entropy, La Biennale di Venezia, Arsenale Novissimo, Venice
The World Belongs to You, François Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
The Art of Climbing Mountains, 303 Gallery, New York, NY
Communism Never Happened, Charim Galerie, Vienna
2010 The Crystal Hypothesis, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Bergamo
2009 I’ve Watered a Horseshoe as if It Were a Flower, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Staging the Grey: 12 Romanian and Hungarian Painters, Prague Biennale 4, Prague
Show Me A Hero, Calvert 22 Gallery, London
Featuring 2, Galerie Chez Valentin, Paris
The Punishment of Lust and Luxury, Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2008 Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool
Days Become Nights, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
Drawings & Other Works on Paper, Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
2007 Expanded Painting 2, Prague Biennale 3, Prague
Size Matters: XS – Recent Small-Scale Paintings, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
Across the Trees, David Nolan Gallery, New York, NY
Eastern European Painting Now, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX
Janis Avotins, Adrian Ghenie, Andrew Palmer, Galerie Rüdiger Schoettle, Munich
Adrian Ghenie and Ciprian Mureșan, Kontainer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 Cluj Connection, curated by Jane Neal, Haunch of Venison, Zurich
Please Drive Slowly Through Our World, Kontainer Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Small Wonder, Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest

Monographs And Catalogues[edit]

2015 Adrian Ghenie Darwin's Room. Edited by Juerg Judin and Mihai Pop. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz
2014 Adrian Ghenie. Essays by Fernando Francés and Francisco Calvo Serraller. CAC Málaga, Malaga
Adrian Ghenie: Golems. Essay by Jasper Sharp. Exh. cat. Pace Gallery, London
Adrian Ghenie. Edited by Juerg Judin. Essay by Mark Gisbourne. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag
Adrian Ghenie. Exh. cat. Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
2013 Adrian Ghenie: New Paintings. Essay by Nora Burnett Abrams. Exh. cat. Pace Gallery. New York
2009 Adrian Ghenie. Edited by Juerg Judin. Essays by Anette Hüsch and Matt Price. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag
Adrian Ghenie: Rainbow at Dawn. Essay by Jos Van den Bergh. Exh. cat. Tim Van Laere Gallery. Antwerp
2007 Shadow of a Daydream. Edited by Juerg Judin. Essay by Martin Coomer. Exh. cat. Haunch of Venison. Zurich and London



  1. ^ a b c "Adrian Ghenie, painter: 'You cannot paint this with a brush. It's simply the result of an accident'". The Independent. June 5, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ioan Sbârciu, atac la Şcoala de pictură băimăreană. A sbârcit-o!" (in Romanian). Gazeta de Maramures. March 19, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Adrian Ghenie". Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Galeria Plan B". Retrieved January 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Plan B Gallery at Liste Art Fair". Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Milliard, Coline (June 30, 2014). "Sotheby's London Hits High Notes with £93 Million Sale". Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Adrian Ghenie". 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2015.