A.R. Penck

A.R. Penck

Artwork

Ohne Titel (16/20), 1992
A.R. Penck

Ohne Titel (16/20), 1992

Torch cut stainless steel on wooden base

17.10 x 13.70 x 0.30 in

$12,000.00

1
A.R. Penck
A.R. Penck (German, 1939–2017) A.R. Penck was a German Neo-Expressionist whose paintings of figures and symbols nod to both German Expressionists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Art Brut. Penck was also a jazz musician, theorist, and innovative writer, constantly returning to the social themes addressed in his artistic works. Penck's Standart works, which employ a lexicon of pictograph-like marks the artist referred to as "building blocks", are essential in understanding both his process and ideology. Though often associated with the graffiti-based work of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, his style emerged independently as a response to the censorship of the German Democratic Republic. Born Ralf Winkler on October 5, 1939 in Dresden, Germany, he adopted A.R. Penck as a moniker based on the early 20th-century paleogeologist Albrecht Penck when East German State Security began confiscating his works during the 1960s.Penck never formally studied art and was, in fact, rejected from several art schools. Instead, he learned to paint primarily by observing work by masters. As he created his early works, he would reflect on paintings by Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh, both of whose styles he would attempt to emulate. Expelled to West Germany by the GDR Communist regime in 1980, he became a part of a milieu of Neo-Expressionist painters. After the pinnacle of his career in the mid-1980s, Penck’s work fell from favor for several decades. In the late 2000s, the artist’s work began to be reappraised as a legacy integral to the history of art. After a prolonged illness, the artist died on May 2, 2017 in Zürich, Switzerland. Penck's Standart works, which employ a lexicon of pictograph-like marks the artist referred to as "building blocks", are essential in understanding both his process and ideology. Though often associated with the graffiti-based work of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, his style emerged independently as a response to the censorship of the German Democratic Republic. Penck was also a jazz musician, theorist, and innovative writer, constantly returning to the social themes addressed in his artistic works. Like his Neo-Expressionist colleagues Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, and Markus Lüpertz, Penck relied on a style that appeared childlike, even at times resembling cave paintings and outsider art. His paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures attempted to find a universal language—one that could address the trauma, sadness, and loss that followed World War II but that would also affect viewers beyond Germany. Penck’s style fused spontaneous self-expression with restraint, and pop cultural and art historical influences with political and social concerns. As a sculptor, he was constructing objects as early as the ’60s made from cardboard boxes, slats, used bottles, and tinfoil and later, in the ’80s, he made sometimes-monumental wooden sculptures. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. 
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Artist