Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A. R. Penck (1939–2017)

A. R. Penck (1939–2017)
The German Neo-Expressionist and self-taught artist coined the term “standart” to describe a pictorial language or system of signs and figures that he often used to address social, economic, and political issues in his paintings. ...READ MORE

A. R. Penck (1939–2017)

German Neo-Expressionist A.R. Penck, best known for his paintings and sculptures depicting simplified symbols and figures, has died in Zürich at the age of seventy-seven, the German news agency dpa reports.
Born Ralf Winkler in 1939, the artist adopted the pseudonym of geologist Albrecht Penckin in 1968 to evade the East German authorities. That same year, Michael Werner organized the self-taught artist’s first show at Galerie Hake in Cologne. Previously, he had unsuccessfully applied to art schools in Dresden and East Berlin and was not allowed to publicly exhibit his works while living in East Berlin from 1963 to 1972, forcing him to smuggle pieces out of the city. He was expelled from the territory in 1980 and after settling in Cologne forged close friendships with fellow Neo-Expressionist artists Jörg Immendorff and Markus Lüpertz.
Penck has been included in many major exhibitions over the years. From 1975 to 1976, the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland held a retrospective of the artist’s work; in 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1992 he was featured in Documenta in Kassel; and in 1984 he exhibited at the Forty-First Venice Biennale. In 1975, he received the Will Grohmann Prize of the Academy of Arts in West Berlin. In 1981, he was awarded the Rembrandt Prize by the Goethe Foundation in Basel, and in 1985, he won the the city of Aachen’s Artist’s Prize. He became a professor at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf in 1989, where he taught for many years.
In the October 1988 issue of Artforum, Wolfgang Faust wrote, “At the core of Penck’s art is a yearning for a universal human sign-language. The ‘system paintings,’ as the artist calls them, transmit signals and information concerning social as well as historical conditions. The goal of these works, however, is not a mere depiction of reality; instead Penck aims to transform the world through them. To this end, he has developed a pictorial language consisting of simple signs. He shows ‘little line men’ and pictorial symbols arranged in highly readable scenes and referring to war, oppression, and dependency, but also to love, friendship, and solidarity.”
His paintings are currently on view in a solo show at Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul, France.

Louise Lawler at MoMA

Louise Lawler at MoMA, New York

Louise Lawler. Why Pictures Now. 1981. Gelatin silver print, 3 x 6” (7.6 x 15.2 cm)
(Courtesy: The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired with support from Nathalie and Jean-Daniel Cohen in honor of Roxana Marcoci. © 2017 Louise Lawler)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, is hosting the first major survey in New York of American artist  Louise Lawler (b. 1947, New York), on view through July 30, 2017.
The exhibition, titled 'Louise Lawler: WHY PICTURES NOW', spans the 40-year creative output of one of the most influential artists working in the fields of image production and institutional critique. Lawler’s practice offers a sly, witty, and sustained feminist analysis of the strategies that inform art’s production and reception. She became a part of ‘Pictures Generation’- a loosely knit, highly independent group of artists, who used photography and appropriation driven strategies to examine the functions and codes of representation, which led her in taking pictures of other artists’ works displayed in collectors’ homes, museums, storage spaces, and auction houses, questioning the value, meaning, and use of art. She also created a strategy of representation, reframe, and restage her own work transferred into different formats- from photographs to paperweights to tracings, known as “adjusted to fit.” The exhibition consists of a sequence of mural-scale, “adjusted to fit” images set in dynamic relation to nonlinear groupings of photographs distinctive of Lawler’s conceptual exercises, alongside black-and-white “tracings” of Lawler’s photographs printed on vinyl and mounted directly on the wall. Also on view are the artist’s ephemera dating back in the 1970s through the present, highlighting the feminist and performative undercurrents of her art, showcasing her long history of artistic collaborations with names like Andrea Fraser, Felix GonzalezTorres, Sherrie Levine, Allan McCollum and others. The works are presented along with ‘Birdcalls’ (1972–81), a sound installation.
The exhibition is on view at MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019, USA.
For details, visit,
Click on the Slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.