Adel Abdessemed


These paintings are produced by a multitude. They are the dirt and luxury of a global economy, they are the wasteful expenditure of the outside. Like poems by Lorca or Dickinson, they are infinitely simple yet complex like language itself. I think of flags and guillotines. Cocorico, these paintings are brutal yet alluring like invitation cards. They represent the peoples of the world and at the same time each one of them is an individual.

Daniel Birnbaum

Each work is an assemblage of strips of recycled metal made by North African craftsmen. Brightly-coloured ribbons cut from toxic waste containers are knitted together or welded with strips from food and drink cans to make unique tapestries, and each one is adorned with a different phrase. These words often take the form of cultural maxims, or are drawn from the realms of music, art history or literature. The Cocorico Paintings tell the story of a struggle between the individual and the industrial at a material level; the struggle of art in a world of mass consumption and globalised markets. The new catalogue Cocorico Paintings: Adel Abdessemed,  is prefaced with an essay by Daniel Birnbaum, and was published in January 2021 with Buchhandlung Walther König.