Crossing the Border Between Art and Medicine
A joint exhibition of the Museum of Concrete Art, Ingolstadt and the German Museum of Medical History, Ingolstadt
in the Berlin Museum of Medical History of the Charité
This exhibition focuses on Adolf Fleischmann (1892-1968). A fascinating figure of the 20th century, he integrated two worlds—art and medicine—in his outstanding oeuvre. The presentation provides a detailed path through Fleischmann’s life combining for the first time the two sides of his professional achievements: his calling as an artist and his occupation as a medical illustrator and moulage maker.
Mission and Occupation
Adolf Fleischmann left his mark in art and medicine. With his vibrant and cheerful paintings he is regarded to be one of the crucial mediators of European Concrete Art in the US. In the 1950s he found his distinctive style of painting. In medical history Fleischmann is known for the works he made at the Surgical University Clinic in Zürich in the 1920s: accurate and lifelike casts of sick body parts in wax—so-called moulages—and meticulously detailed drawings of microscopic tissue images. During his time in New York, he worked again as a laboratory assistant and medical illustrator for Columbia University.
An extraordinary biography of the 20th century
This show aims to present 'the whole' Fleischmann, tracing a highly exceptional biography of the 20th century. It purposefully includes one aspect which frequently remains unreflected in artists’ biographies: how did Fleischmann earn his living? This question is of interest because his basic livelihood whilst residing in Zürich and later in New York was made in the medical field, with stunning creative results. His medical works stand out because they perfectly imitate nature. His abstract paintings, on the other hand, are free from any figurative depiction. They unfold their effects simply through the language of form and colour. These are the 'surfaces' providing the connecting link between these diverse fields of activity.
Parallel to this exhibition in the Museum of Mecial History, the Daimler Contemporary gallery at Potsdamer Platz
holds a Adolf Fleischmann Retrospective. The display there concentrate on Fleischmann`s phase as abstract artist in the US between 1952 and 1965 (www.art.daimler.com).