Abraham David Christian
Abraham David Christian (born 1952) is a German sculptor.
Life and Work
Christian's sculptures were included in Documenta 5, when he was only nineteen years old, and he had his first one-person show at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, in 1973. He was included again in Documenta 7 in 1982.
After his first inclusion in Documenta, in 1972, he went on to have one-person exhibitions at Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld (1978), Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (1983), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (1985, 1994), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais (1988), Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia (1998), and he was in shows at the Nationalmuseum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Nationalgalerie, Berlin and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul. He has also had one-person exhibitions in such galleries as Gallery m, Bochum (1979, 1986), Gallery Friedrich, Bern (1980, 1992), Gatodo Gallery, Tokyo (1986, 1988), Diane Brown Gallery, New York (1987), Elke Dröscher, Hamburg (1990), James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica (1992), Herbert Meyer-Ellinger, Frankfurt (1993), Shigeru Yokota Gallery, Tokyo (every year since 1990), Annina Nosei Gallery, New York (1999), Michael Haas Gallery, Berlin (2002), Gallery Löhrl, Mönchengladbach (2006) and Gallery Utermann, Dortmund (1993, 2009), among others. His work is included in many important public and private collections in Europe, Asia and America, including the Grothe Collection in Berlin and the Ströher Collection in Duisburg, with a one-person exhibition in 2010 at the Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Küppersmühle (Museum Küppersmühle).
Christian has lectured at Keio University, Tokyo; Yamaguchi University, Yamaguchi-Shi, Japan; National Art University, Hangzhou, China; the National University, Seoul, Korea; and extensively in Europe and the United States. His sculptures and drawings were the subject of a major international exhibition, The Ways of the World, at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany, 2000, accompanied by a monograph on his work published by DuMont (Cologne, 2000). the June 2001 issue of Art in America, featured an article by Janet Koplos on his work .
Important book publications include Dorothée Bauerle-Willert, Mississippi (Tallinn, Estonia, 1998); 'Abraham David Christian, La Salle des Pieds Perdus': Drawing / Zeichnung (Edgewise Press, New York, April 1999); Abraham David Christian, Nebraska (Kulturzentrum Sinsteden, Rommerskirchen-Sinsteden, Germany, 2000); Klaus Gallwitz, Bronze Sculptures (Kehrer, Heidelberg, 2003). Another important monograph on his work was published by Kehrer in 2003, in conjunction with his museum exhibition, The Language of Man, at the Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen and Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal in 2004, with essays by Thomas Deecke, Peter Friese, Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs and Richard Milazzo. In 2006, Christian published "Along the Hudson", a book of drawings, with Tokyo Publishing House.
Christian has been described as an “international artist whose work cannot be confined to any one country or defined by any one culture. Geometrical and shape-of-life forms reference the traditions of Eastern, Western, African and American cultures, even as they remain perfectly unique unto themselves. His paper and bronze sculptures convene the spirits of Renaissance art (Donatello and Michelangelo), the Classical abstract art of the avantgarde in the twentieth century (Giacometti, Brancusi, and David Smith), the most (so-called) ‘primitive’ objects from the smallest villages in Africa, and the most (so-called) ‘refined’ goddess or Buddha from India, Southeast Asia, or Japan. It is work that is both irrepressible and restrained, libidinal and Minimal, fragile and, of late, monumental. Before the term ‘multicultural’ ever existed, Christian’s sculptures and drawings took for their most basic premises the ‘language [or languages] of man’ and the ‘ways of the world.’
Abraham David Christian lives and works in New York City, Düsseldorf and Hayama, Japan.
- 1978 Villa Romana prize
- Exhibition catalogue: documenta 5 Befragung der Realität – Bildwelten heute; Bd 1: (Information); Bd 2: (Exhibition catalogue); Kassel 1972
- Exhibition catalogue: documenta 7 Kassel ; Bd. 1: (Biographies of the artists); Bd. 2: (Exhibition catalogue); Kassel 1982 ISBN 3-920453-02-6
- Honisch, Dieter (Editor); Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland : 1945 - 1985 ; Exhibition catalogue: 'Kunst in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland : 1945 - 1985', Nationalgalerie Berlin 27.9.1985 bis 21.1.1986; Berlin 1985 ISBN 3-87584-158-1
- Milazzo, Richard (Editor); ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN, LA SALLE DES PIEDS PERDUS, ZEICHNUNG / DRAWING; New York, Paris, Turin, Louisville 1999 ISBN 1-893207-01-3
- Brockhaus, Christoph (Hrsg.); Abraham David Christian, die Wege der Welt: Exhibition catalogue, Abraham David Christian, die Wege der Welt, Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museum Duisburg 20. Februar bis 30. April 2000; Köln 2000 ISBN 3-7701-5051-1
- Friese, Peter (Hrsg.); Abraham David Christian - Die Sprache des Menschen; Exhibition catalogue: Abraham David Christian - Die Sprache des Menschen, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, 16. November 2003 bis 29. Februar 2004, Von-der-Heydt-Museum Wuppertal, 16. März bis 18. Mai 2004; Heidelberg 2003 ISBN 3-936636-10-9
- Smerling, Walter (Herg.); ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN, THE WAY • DER WEG, Exhibition catalogue: ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN, THE WAY • DER WEG, MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst Duisburg 11. Juni bis 29. August 2010, Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld/Leipzig/Berlin ISBN 978-3-86678-412-3