Norbert Tadeusz



Collected Perceptions

As a young artist in the nineteen-sixties it took a certain amount of self-confidence to dedicate yourself to figurative painting. Norbert Tadeusz did just that. Out of this grew an impressive painterly oeuvre, widely admired today. Tadeusz had a subject, an obsession, almost. It was the female body. He wanted to capture it, first as a sculptor, still in the class of Joseph Beuys, and from then on, as a painter. Female nudes provided him with the most diverse reasons for painting and set his deep painterly curiosity in motion more than any other subject; nudes remained an equivocal mystery to him, and thus an inexhaustible source in his struggle with form.

Tadeusz chose primarily large to very large formats for his paintings, works of sophisticated structure, with austere motifs oscillating between colour that is flat and colour that proliferates aggressively. In addition, he produced a set of works almost entirely in private, practically unnoticed by the public. While not deliberately trying to conceal these, he nonetheless carefully kept them to himself, and ultimately left them within the shelter of his studio for decades: small oils of intimate character, captivating in their intensity and directness. It is a kind of personal collection consisting of sketches and drafts of shapes, of preliminary deliberations and spontaneous transcripts, but invariably restrained and precise. These works have something casual, something unintentional, about their whole character. They are not pleasing. They show interiors imbued with the banality of the everyday. Female models are placed on carpets and sheets, between a radiator and a TV, posed on stools and shiny, black grand pianos. In his surrounding environment, in his studio, Tadeusz finds his visual sustenance. The artist never attempts to narrate. No agitation, no pathos. Tadeusz displays. His gaze forges subject-matter. With this gaze, he surprises us.

He latches onto the unusual, exposes an un-sanitised, sensual reality full of melancholy, inhabited by goddesses of a very earthly kind. Tadeusz adheres to the tangible, the graspable. His attention is directed towards things, irrespective of whether they are nudes or ladders. Through energetic brushstrokes, he helps them achieve a sense of forceful presence. He tirelessly gleans stimuli from them that are wholly personal. And even before the subject arouses interest, viewers find themselves attracted to the sheer play between forms and colours, arranged in a legible way. Order and passion, an instinctual geometry shapes the architecture of his pictures. Peculiarity piques curiosity. Nudes and props melt into a strange symbiosis. A heightened sense of colour breaks through unmitigated contrasts, illuminating surfaces with delicate glazes or areas of tantalising garishness. Extreme angles, foreshortening and changing viewpoints keep the spatial structure in a fragile balance, as well as creating an obvious pull in terms of perspective, which, like the probe of a geologist, aims inside the body of the picture.

Representation in Tadeusz’s work remains vague and fragmentary. Created with a deconstructive energy, his works evade full comprehension when only given a cursory glance. They instigate a deft game of perception, a game in which each centre of attraction is simultaneously recognised as the fringe of the next, a game that encompasses figures and intervals alike. This game follows a net of contingent relations cast with ingenuity and which seeks its strongest form of expression in repetition, doubling and symmetry. Diagonals determine movement and speed. Those who follow Tadeusz’s sweeping gaze are met with unexpectedly fascinating pictures; in other words, they learn how the folded edge of a carpet can become an event.

Text by Dorothea Baumer, from: Norbert Tadeusz. Bilder 1964 – 2004, Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich



Norbert Tadeusz is born on 19th February in Dortmund


Werkkunstschule Dortmund

Studies of painting under Gustav Deppe


Studies at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf bei Gerhard Hoehme, Joseph Fassbender and Joseph Beuys (master class)


Grant of the Kulturkreis im Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie


Teacher at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf


Professor at the Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf


Participation at the Venice Biennale


Villa Romana Prize, Florence


Professor at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin


Professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig


Norbert Tadeusz dies on 11th July in Düsseldorf

Selected Solo Shows


Tadeusz. Figur – Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Vienna


Hummelglück – Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf


Lasst Blumen sprechen – Museum Schloss Moyland, Bedburg-Hau

Meat. The rejected paintings – Faurschou Foundation Beijing, Beijing


Norbert Tadeusz. Gemälde 1978–2002 – Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz

Studio – Museum ESMoA, El Segundo (in cooperation with LACMA)

Materie und Gedächtnis – Sammlung Hurrle Durbach, Museum für aktuelle Kunst, Durbach

Norbert Tadeusz. Malerei. Werke aus der Schaffenszeit 1969–2009 – Galerie Bernheimer, Munich


Norbert Tadeusz – Im Schaukabinett des Albertinums, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden

Von Tribünen und Spielfeldern – Studio Michael Royen, Vettelschoß


Nobert Tadeusz. Cavalli – Galerie Utermann, Dortmund (cat.)

Skulpturen, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle 1960er bis 1980er Jahre – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Norbert Tadeusz. Die Wirklichkeit ist, wie sie ist – Kunstverein Ulm, Ulm


Norbert Tadeusz. Nighthawks – Böhm Chapel, Hürth


Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Collagen 1960–2010 – Karl & Faber, Munich (in cooperation with Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich)

Aquarelle und Zeichnungen 1960–1969 – Schönewald Fine Arts, Düsseldorf

Norbert Tadeusz. Paintings – Galerie Schönewald und Beuse, Düsseldorf


Norbert Tadeusz. 70 Jahre. Neue Bilder – Galerie Noah, Augsburg

Norbert Tadeusz. Arbeiten auf Papier – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (cat.)

Adaptionen. Neue Bilder – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Time After Time. Norbert Tadeusz zum 70. – Mönchehaus Museum, Goslar (cat.)

bodenlos! Nobert Tadeusz – Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt (cat.)


Schatten. Bilder von Norbert Tadeusz – Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum

Dunkle Begleiter. Schattenbilder von 1965–2009 – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf


Arkaden I, Arkaden II, Roter Fries – Pumpwerk Evinger Bach, Dortmund

Nobert Tadeusz. Malerei – Galerie Beyer, Dresden

Nighthawks – Museum Ludwig, Cologne

Gemälde 1978–2002 – Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz (cat.)

Cavalli – Kunsthalle Koblenz, Koblenz


Anachronismen zur Gegenwart – Kulturspeicher im Landesmuseum, Oldenburg (cat.)


Varengeville – Galerie Utermann, Dortmund

Körper-Farbe-Licht. Norbert Tadeusz in der Barockgalerie – Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig (cat.)

Bilder – Krefelder Kunstverein, Krefeld


Elementar. Malerei, Zeichnungen, Skulpturen – DG Deutsche Gesellschaft für christliche Kunst e. V., Munich (cat.)

Trilogien – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf

Der deutliche Blick. Bilder und Blätter – Galerie Noah, Augsburg


Graphik – Galerie Zell am See, Zell am See

Bilder 1964–2004 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

von oben / d’en haut / from up above – Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz (cat.)


Italien sichten – Neues Museum Weimar, Weimar (cat.)

Bilder – Deutsche Botschaft, London

Radierungen – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Überarbeitete Fotos 1969–2001 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Bilder – Galerie Thomas, Munich (cat.)

Körper – Ehemalige Reichskanzlei Kornelimünster, Aachen (cat.)


Tadeusz 1967–1999. Bilder aus einer Berliner Privatsammlung – Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen (cat.)

Druckgrafik. Arbeiten der letzten fünf Jahre – BDA-Galerie, Braunschweig (cat.)

Existenz und Passion. Werke 1962–2000 – Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (cat.)


Bilder 1964 bis 1977 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich (cat.)

Galerie Hans Strelow, Düsseldorf

Works on Paper – Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh (cat.)


Energische Augenblicke. Bilder bis 1997 – Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn

Bilder 1964 bis 1977 – Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin (cat.)


Night Hawks – Galerie Barlach, Halle K, Hamburg

Werke 1962–1996 – Galerie Vömel, Düsseldorf (cat.)


Olimpia – Von der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal

Bilder 1960–1992 – Galerie Brigitte Ihsen, Cologne


Galerie Heseler, Munich

Zeichnungen der 60er und 70er Jahre – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Landschaft-Technik – Galerie J. Friedrich, Dortmund (cat.)

Innen und außen – Galerie Eva Poll, Berlin

Olimpia mit schwarzem Flügel. Neue Bilder – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf (cat.)


Plastiken – Galerie Hans Barlach, Hamburg (cat.)

Papierarbeiten aus drei Jahrzehnten – Museum Katharinenhof, Kranenburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen

Ein Bild – Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund


Bilder 1980–1991 – Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf (cat.)

Nudes, Landscapes and Flower Paintings – Ruth Siegel Gallery, New York (cat.)


Plastiken – Galerie Hans Barlach, Cologne/Hamburg (cat.)


Bilder und Zeichnungen – Galerie Eva Poll, Berlin


Bilder – Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (cat.)

Bewegungsbilder – Galerie Hermeyer, Munich


Akte-in transitu – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf (cat.)


Bilder 1971–1985 – Galerie Hermeyer, Munich


Menschenbild-Christusbild – Rabanus Maurus-Akademie, Wiesbaden

Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo und Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (cat.)


Vorhölle-Carni – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf (cat.)

Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris


Galerie Fred Lanzenberg, Brussels

Galleria Schema, Florence

Galleria Vivita, Florence


Gemälde 1960–1980 – Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund (cat.)

Neue Bilder und Gouachen – Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Düsseldorf


Bilder 1962–1980 – Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig (cat.)

Gemälde 1975–1980 – Neue Galerie-Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen (cat.)


Bilder, Gouachen – Galerie Axiom, Cologne


Bilder von 1962 bis 1973 – Galerie Kröner, Freiburg


Bilder 1963–1974 – Galerie Poll, Berlin


Werke 1963–1973 – Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf (cat.)

Galerie Onnasch, Cologne (cat.)


Zeichnungen, Gouachen – Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof, Düsseldorf (cat.)


Galerie Gunar, Düsseldorf

Galerie Dahlem, Darmstadt


Galerie Gunar, Düsseldorf (cat.)