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Jörg Immendorff (German, 1945–2007)

About this artist

Source: Oxford University Press

German painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He entered the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf in 1963, spending three semesters studying stage set design before becoming a student of Joseph Beuys. After producing a series of pictures in 1966 using babies as his prime motif, he adopted a word suggestive of baby talk, ‘Lidl’, for performances and political demonstrations in Düsseldorf and other cities from 1968 to 1970. These activities, for which he enlisted the support of other artists, continued after he began teaching art in 1968 at a secondary school in Düsseldorf; he remained a teacher there until 1980.

Immendorff’s renewed application to painting coincided with his first meeting with A. R. Penck in East Berlin in 1976. They wrote a brief manifesto on working collaboratively and met again in 1977, when they decided to organize joint artistic activities and exhibitions. It was at this time that Immendorff began his Café Deutschland series, e.g. Café Deutschland (1977–8; Aachen, Neue Gal.), using the image of a bar interior as a metaphor for the clash of ideologies between East and West. Having previously explored his political involvement and social commitment through a didactic iconography in a form suggestive of political posters, he began in his new paintings to represent figures in powerfully staged symbolic compositions. The symbolic iconography and condensed corporeality of his pictorial language also found form in painted sculptures carved in wood (e.g. Saviour, h. 700 mm, 1983; see 1985 exh. cat., p. 165) or cast in bronze, as in Worker (h. 385 mm, 1976; see 1985 exh. cat., p. 160). After working as a visiting lecturer at the Kunsthochschule in Hamburg (1982–3) and the Werkkunstschule in Cologne (1984–5), in 1989 Immendorff was appointed professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt.

Andreas Franzke
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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