Adam Bota    *1975 Linz (A). Lives in Vienna

available works

Professor, 2019, oil on canvas, 40 x 30cm

Treffen, 2014, oil on canvas, 60 x 70cm

Einsertisch II, 2009, oil on canvas, 120x135cm

Wiese, 2018, oil on canvas, 170 x 200cm

Adam Bota, The Last Argument, 2018, oil on canvas, 150 x 160cm

Zerreissprobe, 2018, oil on canvas, 160 x 150cm

Heiligenschein, 2011-2015, oil and felt-tip pen on images of saints, 38 parts
223 x 1054 cm (concept: Stephan Schwarz)

Lunapark Agitator I, 2014, oil on canvas, 240x200cm

adam bota,STRICHERMITTLUNG, 2018, Filz-Lackstift auf Karton,53x71,5
Strichermittlung, 2018, felt-tip pen on cardboard, 53 x 71,5cm

Der Franzose, 2016, 80x80cm, oil on canvas

Sprengung, 2016, oil on canvas, 70x130cm

adam bota,gruppentherapie III,2012,30x30cm,ooc
Gruppentheraphie III, 2012, oil on canvas, 30x30cm

works in private collections

Trainerfachgespräche II, 2016, 80 x 70cm, oil on canvas
private collection, Berlin

Waldsauna, 2015, 170x200cm, oil on canvas, private collection, Bremen

Rasterfahndung, 2014, oil on canvas, 170x270cm. SELECTED ARTISTS Collection

Adam_Bota,Hochzeit,2013,160x200cm,ooc,BSA_Collection (2)
Hochzeit, 2013, oil on canvas, 160×200cm, private collection, Bremen


Contrary to the loud nature of Punk-rock concerts — a reoccurring subject in Bota's recent work — the scenes he renders in oils emanate a rather tranquil and reflective, yet nonetheless intense, atmosphere. With the flow of paint on canvas with his crossfades and layers, Bota captures the cathartic experience of concert-going; of people in an ecstatically charged crowd dancing uncontrolled to fast and hard beats. In Bota's depictions the partying individual threatens to disappear within the intertwining painted areas: like grapes on a vine, he melts together with his likeminded peers and the excitement of the moment takes on a life of its own. Fragments of piled bodies appear to penetrate each other, come apart and join to create a large inseparable body-in-motion. Beneath the artificial, often sparsely utilized light, which recalls the neon in night clubs, contours cancel each other out. Adam Bota thus emphasizes the ecstatic experience of the concert. His carefully placed colors assert a complementary life of their own. They tie themselves to the forms and lead the viewer's eye to the energetic transference that is occurring in this independent artistic sphere. The punk moment becomes a frozen leitmotif in search of disengagement from the intensity of life — be it through layersof paint or in the dark intimacy of the club.

As can be witnessed in his brilliant series Sekundenschlaf, Adam Bota manages disappearance masterfully, an aspect of this is the simultaneously unusual and completely natural or graceful unity that his figures achieve in relation to the spaces they occupy. In this series figures blend with their environments, rendering everything quite still, nearly reverent. Elderly men sit alone sinking into sofas from times past in their favorite Viennese cafés, faces turned from the viewer, their heads are lowered in a placid daytime sleep that is secluded from the world. In Bota's well-tempered paintings entire bodies can dissolve while color plays with form and collaborates with lighting. Spots of light blend with color nuances, overlap and become inseparably united. The facial gestures of his subjects vanish as their consciousness makes its way to an intermediate world. The phenomenon of sudden sleep (Sekundenschlaf) usually occurs unnoticed and unsolicited, and describes the thin surface that lies between unconscious slumbering — ephemerally colored lethargic dream sequences — and lucid (even if insular) reality. Bota's Sekundenschläfer (sudden sleepers) transpose seamlessly and without contour into this indeterminate space and in so doing gain a universally accessible, symbolic meaning. This process is most interesting to Bota. His oeuvre, which can be described as having achieved intelligible liquefaction of space and figure, operates as a steady impressionistic play on the phenomenon of sinking into the background and emerging from it, comparable to the phenomena of the unconscious world melting with the just-perceived reality when one nods off involuntary. His subjects shimmer like finely cubed models of themselves that have gone beyond figurativeness into painterly uncertainty and thus convey a suggestive rather than tangible narrative. Time is thwarted and time-spacial continuity looses its relevance. A temporality that is informed from a pure visuality gains the upper hand; it is independent of space or person and completely and utterly generated by observation, superimposed by a meaningful veil from an askew world. Throughout Adam Bota's body of work, dissolving and sometimes dripping painting structures allow access to the existential interior life of his characters but block the view to concrete emotions. This mysterious atmosphere transforms scenes, which are in truth mundane, into exciting and universal ones, and it is in this way Bota captures a condition relevant to the zeitgeist, be it that of the ecstatic club, the lonely regular in a nostalgic café, or a forgotten and reconstructed family scene. Adam Bota's concentration on surface and structure, with its reoccurring patterns and play with lighting and corporality unifies the motif during the process of painting, and conserves split second experiences whose emotional worlds are informed by the dawning of a mixture of past and projected emotions. According the painter, the unconscious spirit can only develop beyond reality within darkness and absorption, and it asserts itself through materializing into an abstract leaning atmospheric image. Bota therefore approaches the cold banality of the world with a self-referential painterly quality and a sinister but warm palate. Each one of his scenes possess a fragile life of its own, the observer — or rather viewer — never gets close to the figure. It is in constant retreat, fleeing one way or the other through countless diffuse layers of oil — just as the spaces they inhabit never unambiguously revel themselves, but rather suggest an intermediate world.

Bota consequently proves to be a silent observer and intermediary of multifaceted perception and the unfathomableness of thought that follows timeless and quasi-invisible laws, even if these at times lead solely into a melancholy colored darkness that become alive and apparent only once there. Equipped with this perspective, Adam Bota's paintings can be understood as haunting metaphors. They are models for a zeitgeist-conforming critical attitude according to which the old-fashioned (due to the slowness of its nature) medium of painting and the catharsis of Punk rock can be read as opposite worlds that are set against a purely affirmative and perpetual artificial frenzy of a digitalized and function-oriented present. This establishes the work as highly relevant and impressionistic, and it speaks to a young generation that has the urge to consciously retreat into dark rooms, suddenly and shamelessly dozing off in attempt to escape a fully rationalized linear reality. A mild state of intoxication, a quiet and subtle plea for distance from our world which is littered with visual banalities. Our hopelessly overloaded and contingency overridden future of projected digital images possesses a great disadvantage, it — as opposed to the highly concentrated and recoverycentric medium painting — does not, cannot, and does not want to reach for meaning.

Uwe Goldenstein

Adam Bota, Rast, 2009, Öl a.Lw., 170 x 135cm, Lukas Feichtner Galerie Wien
Rast, 2009, oil on canvas, 170×135cm
private collection, Bremen