“(…) Adam Adach evokes memories of travels, of things he has seen, in such a way that his paintings seem to resemble snapshots, like those of photographic notes we take to keep trace of what has moved us. (…) His art is founded on a work of memory and dream which, like any work of analysis, brings to light the many scraps and fragments of life. In juxtaposition, these fragments make up a personal atlas allowing the viewer’s reading of it to remain open. This is where the strength and originality of this artistic approach resides: the interweaving of our story with the artist’s own does not come to any conclusion.”

Julia Garimorth, “Adam Adach”, Le Prix Marcel Duchamp 2007, Centre Pompidou, 2007

“The light of Adam Adach’s painting is not similar to anything known. It often comes from a preparation of backgrounds like a sort of “polish”. Figures, objects and semi-urban views are unfurling on this surface so to define a dimensional axis and a figural space. But things are less obvious than such description could suggest. The backgrounds with their complex tonalities are not opposite in a mechanical way to colors of foreground figures. Backgrounds and figures answer each other, dialogue and so start to float all in all. Fragments of colors included in the background will serve to represent figures and to draw the space. Thus a tremendous delicacy and constant comings and goings between the different elements are drawing up, bringing a peculiar pleasure to painting. Such exchanges and tonality links are imaginable in this medium only, and Adam Adach conceives it with admirable mastery and pictorial culture. But it is not a matter of virtuosity. This peculiar combination produces an intense luminosity which is opaque also. This luminosity corresponds to the fact that the pictorial space seems unlimited and closed up at the same time and cannot escape from the implacable law of opaque backgrounds both clear and impenetrable (like a foggy day under a sky which no ray will be able to go through – like winter days in Baltic countries). The contradictory impression of pictorial joy with a half-shade world defines Adam Adach’s paintings. These are much marked by content than simplicity of forms and subjects suggests at first sight.”

Robert Fleck, “North-eastern Light”, in Adam Adach, 2004

“Adach’s artistic strategy is a kind of reinterpretation of history – a quest for traces of the untold, the ignored and the suppressed. The artist focuses on how people fit into, or are excluded from, the great historical narrative. He also examines how ideologies such as communism and fascism have affected people, and explores traumatic facts by reawakening the past to life. In brief: he rubs salt into the old wounds.  But with his art, Adach most certainly also helps to heal the open wounds of history. (…) Utilising the Freudian concept of Nachträglichkeit (‘afterwardsness’), the American art theorist Hal Foster (The Return of the Real, 1996) has claimed that a traumatic event can only be registered through another person, who re-encodes it. It thus always takes two traumas to produce one trauma, and the first can only be healed when we encounter it again. The neo-avant-garde art of the sixties was thus not a farcical repetition of the historical avant-garde of the 1910s, as the German theorist Peter Bürger (Theorie der Avantgarde, 1974) has long since concluded, but rather a playing-out of the avant-garde for the first time. In the same way, Adach’s paintings replay historical traumas. He forces his way into collective memory and challenges the established historical narratives. He questions our historiography and analyses the ways in which history manifests itself today. What traces does it leave in our cultural consciousness? And how does this affect the ways in which we construct our immediate reality?  From this point of view, the image processing of Adam Adach’s art constitutes an absolutely necessary form of artistic therapy.”

Henrik Broch-Lips, “Waging war on history”, in Adam Adach. Cease-fire, 2012

“We could be too hasty : identifying historic scenes, a mildly disconcerting version of familiar figures, locating an iconography. It could be Central Europe, after 1938, its signs, uniforms, souvenir photographs and everyday kitsch. Many have taken part in the undiscriminating use of imagery that the collapse of communism provided in abundance. It is a very delicate operation to escape the picturesque. Unless, like Adam Adach, they have been through the mill of a demanding, formal apprenticeship and have experienced the latency of painting, the delay which is unique to this work, and brought it into the space of narration. Reinstating history, its rumors and its legends is now no longer about exploiting neo-pop treasure, reactivating it in the derisory manner of ready-made images. On the contrary, it is about preserving what is implicit : the discretion of images which delay their identification, and mobilise their power of affect. (…) Adach’s pictures generate similarities rather than acknowledging resemblances, a research method typical in painting. (…) Images surge forth from an excess of pigment, always threatened by a return to vagueness, provisional figures always on the verge of suggesting some genealogical intrigue, preludes to the appearance of the “subject of the story”.

Patricia Falguières, “The discretion of images”, in Voir en peinture, FRAC Ile-de-France, Le Plateau, Paris, 2003

“(…) I have returned to figuration after many years of research about painting said to be abstract and procedural; it is because I felt the need to interfere in the lives of people and close relations, to explicitly invest in the semantic links of what I pant. I could no longer pretend that, for instance, Robert Ryman’s ‘concrete’ painting represented a snow-covered Calgary. It was necessary to paint snow and ‘snow of long ago’ in particular. I am very sensitive to the fact that photography shows what ‘is no longer there’. I use a digital camera like a simple sketchbook, plus many other sources of images, such as family albums, illustrated books, magazines, and historical documents in general, giving general meaning to the term ‘historic’. All this to say that I never copy a photograph as an object containing a picture. It is more its documentary and narrative potential that interests me, and I then dialogue with pictorial elements. The (de-constructioned) degree of interaction between what is due to the photograph-photograph and what is due to the painting-painting is different from one painting to another; but the first is always subordinate to the second. If need be, I introduce modifications in the very motive of the image source, through pictorial or concrete means. (…) I can be very subjective and create simultaneously an objective feeling of distance. I like very much the idea of a mental collage which is characteristic of Einsenstein’s cinema. (…) the different heights in the hanging of my paintings are the arrival point of a process of a narrative, documentary and aesthetic order, more than the evocation of the photographic gaze in short, whose specificity is totally foreign to my work.”

Adam Adach, “A Conversation between Adam Adach and Julia Garimorth”, in Adam Adach, Musée national Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, 2005

“For Adam Adach it is not a question of painting photography, of combining the painting to the glamorous picture or to the current climate catching which photography represents better than any other medium. The real relationship is in fact that photographic picture frees painting from the necessity of making a composition up with introducing there a representation of the outer world. This entails the very concept of painting beyond pictorial self-thought. Thus the connection with the media is very deep although discreet. It opens up an object and a figuration already made; thanks to these, the figurative painting can become as free and precise as abstract and structural painting, without suffering its interior limits. Thanks to this approach, Adam Adach is standing at the centre of primordial works of his generation. What distinguishes him in this context is the fineness of his process entirely directed towards pictorial values (and not intended to put under any pretext of fashion and people magazines imagery into the painting sphere like many present painters in vogue do). Pre-established photographic picture frees here the work on light and on colors. Adam Adach’s post-photographic process never begins an end in itself nor technical feat, nor a speculation seeking photographic seduction in painting. In the contrary, it is a question of freeing the light and colors connection and trying out the different constituents of painting with more freedom. Adam Adach’s recent works take over from the most elaborated abstract works of our time – we could think among others about Bernard Frize – going against the paradigm of structural painting with nonchalance. All-made composition opened up by photographic objective deletes for the painter the necessity of thinking to “look picture”. So he can entirely deal with elements which define his world: the light (intense and opaque) and colors (faded but deep which surround the objects).”

Robert Fleck, “North-eastern Light”, in Adam Adach, 2004

“Some of his paintings show anonymous urban zones, half abandoned, where life is continuing in spite of politic and economic changes that came up those last fifteen years. The exaggerated distance between the buildings reminds us of certain experiences of socialist countries of Soviet hemisphere. (…). It constitutes an introduction towards a half melancholy and half disillusioned world which is the one of post-communist countries in the 21st century. (…) We see mines, scattered villages, hidden houses behind great Baltic forest trees, an underwater and scenes with mythical connotation like this rescue by plane on the ice field, or those minuscule figures in snowy expanses.

“Here again, Adam Adach’s painting is never literary or nostalgic insofar that the motif remains serving a register of lights and colors which is used as a framework and a structure for a closed world in spite of its spaces. (…) Each one is constructed and thought in a precise and individual way. It is always a question of installing a formal device which allows liberating light and colors towards original tints using the grid formed by photographic picture. Those paintings as a whole compose a personal account which is distant and free from the post communist condition in north-eastern countries of Europe.”

Robert Fleck, “North-eastern Light”, in Adam Adach, 2004