La Salle des Pieds Perdus
Drawing / Zeichnung
by Abraham David Christian
EP 8: ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN’S group of drawings, LA SALLE DES PIEDS PERDUS, were made during his trip in Kalighat, Calcutta in 1998. No matter how abstract the passage of time becomes to consciousness, drawing must, in this artist’s estimation, always hit the point of mortal ruin and death, the stillness of the ways of the world, like an acupuncture needle. Christian’s apocalyptic, irregular line reflects the raw, unrefined, all-consuming energy that would encourage with paradoxical calm and grace the rampage of blood, the dance, the passion and drunken beauty, the instability of the world. His drawings sanctify as perfection — in la salle des pieds perdus, in the waiting rooms of existence, and even unto the House of the Dead — the libidinal disorders of an ungraspable universe.
ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN’s first book published in the U.S., LA SALLE DES PIEDS PERDUS: DRAWING/ZEICHNUNG, reproduces on patinated paper in black and white twenty-two graphite on paper drawings, made in Calcutta, India. For a sculptor who works primarily in paper, these drawings — which the artist insists are works in themselves, works per se — represent what may be said to be the essence of the work of art, its classical objectification as disegno. They provide a contemporary lesson in drawing as an art form in itself. The special limited edition contains an original drawing by the artist and a signed and numbered copy of the book.
ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN was born in 1952. His work was included in Documenta 5 when he was only twenty years old, and he had his first one-person show at the Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, in 1973. Since then he has had one-person exhibitions at Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld (1978), Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (1983), Gallery Friedrich, Bern (1984), Sprengel Museum, Hannover (1985, 1994), Gatodo Gallery, Tokyo (1988), Diane Brown Gallery, New York (1987), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais (1988), Elke Dröscher, Hamburg (1990), James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica (1992), Herbert Meyer-Ellinger, Frunkfurt (1993), Shigeru Yokota, Tokyo (1995), Tallinna Kunstihoone, Estonia (1998), Annina Nosei Gallery, New York (1999), and the Michael Haas Gallery, Berlin (2002), among others. Christian’s sculptures were shown again in Documenta 7 in 1982, and in shows at the Nationalmuseum, Seoul, Museum Ludwig, Köln, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and Fukuyama Museum of Art, Fukuyama. His work is included in many important public and private collections in Europe, Asia and America.
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 at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg, Germany, 2000, and a major monograph on his work was published by DuMont (Cologne, 2002). He lives and works in New York and Düsseldorf.
ABRAHAM DAVID CHRISTIAN’s LA SALLE DES PIEDS PERDUS: DRAWING/ZEICHNUNG is his first book published in America. First edition paperback, April 1999, 64 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover, reproduces twenty-two graphite on paper drawings by the artist on patinated paper, and a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece. With an introductory essay by Richard Milazzo.
SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION includes a box, 19 x 13”, in two colors, custom-made in Turin, Italy, with an original, 14 x 9”, graphite on paper, drawing by Abraham David Christian, mounted on archival board, and a book reproducing all the drawings, signed and numbered one through twenty-two by the artist, with five copies signed and lettered A through E: $1,000.00. A few lettered copies are still available.