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Norbert Tadeusz - "From Up Above"
November 14, 2004 - Januar 2, 2005
- part of the exhibition can still be seen until February 27, 2005


Fontainejean; direction Avallon, 1987
Öl/Lwd, 200 x 200 cm



Norbert Tadeusz, born in 1940 in Dortmund , counts as one of the few monumental painters in Germany . With the Professorship for Monumental Art at the College of the Visual Arts in Braunschweig which he himself held between 1991 and 2003, he was able to engage in instruction and at the same time continue to work at a full pace, exploring the world through painting. Since his first solo exhibition in 1966 in the Galerie Gunar, Düsseldorf, which remained closed for a few days upon order of the police because of the scandalous nature of the pictures, there have taken place numerous exhibitions which document the extensive oeuvre and bear testimony to a painter who has with unmitigated vehemence dedicated himself to painting. Tadeusz has remained resolutely true to so-called objective painting - also in periods of the important movements involving abstraction -, even if his visual language repels the all-too-facile access of perception.

  Norbert Tadeusz bei der Arbeit


at work


In integral series and cycles, he investigates, explores, examines the material of his subjects with regard to their painterly presence - whether it is a matter of animal carcasses in Italian butcher's shops or female nudes suffused by Mediterranean light, agricultural machines in the summer heat or galloping and stumbling horses, the forbidding cliffs of Normandy or the placid sea of Follonica. The most recent works, with their transposition of the black-and-red paintings from Etruscan graves, reveal a renewed manner of handling monumental painting. Nudes are the main motif but serve at the same time as a pretext for the search for perspective and geometry. Just like the balancing artist of Trabanten rotfigurig (Tarquinia) "Satellites red-figured (Tarquinia)," the artist shifts the borders of equilibrium ever further, with a gymnastic "split" between the two-dimensionality of the moving figures and the infinity of the black background, which has been transformed into vastly deep space.


Varengeville IV, 2001
Acryl/Lwd, 150 x 200 cm



The repetition of the represented motifs in series or cycles gives clear expression to the conscientiousness behind the intention to follow exactly along the tracks of visible appearance and inherent being. Alongside the flatness of the application of paint and the saturated, matt coloration, it is above all the willfully insistent perspective and point of view by means of which Tadeusz imparts an auratic presence to everyday motifs. It is their close perceptual approach, together with a simultaneous distancing and estrangement, which gives the works of Tadeusz their visual power.

The exhibition in Coblence brings together some forty, in part large-scale works of Tadeusz, in which the view "from up above" is explicitly treated as a strategic procedural mode of pictorial discovery, along with a previously undisplayed cycle of landscapes in France : from Champagne to the Atlantic coast of France .

With support from the Irene and Peter Ludwig Foundation, a catalogue is appearing in Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld : Norbert Tadeusz, von oben ("Norbert Tadeusz, from up above"), edited by Beate Reifenscheid, with texts by Wolfgang Becker, Cécile Michaud and Beate Reifenscheid; ca. eighty pages (of which forty are color illustrations).





Norbert Tadeusz, Rotfigurig I, 2002