Adelhyd van Bender, Untitled, 1999-2014
Mixed media on photocopy
42 x 30 cm
3 unique works
Adelhyd van Bender developed hundreds of three-ring binders brimming with A3 and A4 papers neatly sorted and sequenced in individual plastic sleeves. On its pages – on a ground of black text typewritten and Xeroxed onto the white pages – the artist had collaged, drawn, and hand-coloured geometric diagrams. Van Bender’s drawings show a proclivity for the particles of the atom: protons, electrons, neutrons. They evoke the Bohr model of the atom, or the geocentric or heliocentric order of the universe and its revolving planets, and they emulate mystical diagrams, like the Sephiroth from the Kabbalah. A recurring source of van Bender’s concentric diagrams are nuclear radiation maps and atomic diagrams. Rocket or missile shapes frequently consume a page of collaged diagrams and form a massive, upwardly pointed, projectile-like form. Bender’s practice was focused on gradually solving a deeper secret, while generating a meticulous and rich visual language with its own internal logic – a process the artist described as the ‘divine drudgery.’
Adelhyd van Bender (b. 1950, Bruchsal; d. 2014, Berlin) donated most of his works to Prinzhorn Collection, Heidelberg in 1999. His works were exhibited at Malmö Konsthall; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (both 2019) and Delmes & Zander, Cologne (2018), who represent his estate.