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Jörg IMMENDORFF

(1945-2007)


Born in 1945 in West Germany, Jörg Immendorff, who was a pupil of Joseph Beuys and a close associate of the painter A. R. Pencke from East Germany, left an impressive oeuvre behind him, despite his early death in 2007, from both the power of his paintings and the intensity of his commitment. He is one of the most interesting artists of the German and indeed the world scene at the end of the 20th and in the early 21st century. His work, known worldwide, is often classified by art critics as neo-Expressionism, or else has been ascribed to the group of neo-Fauve artists. He was first employed as a teacher; during the 1960s he was into landscapes, and after that studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf. In 1964 he became a student of Beuys, with whom he was on friendly terms until the latter’s death. The whole of his oeuvre deals with the issue of the function of art in the area of social tensions and the history of ideas. Immendorff condemned standards and tradition, and his political views were often iconoclastic, condemning the German past, wars and the degradation of our environment. After 2004, because of MND, a sickness that paralysed him, he could no longer paint. An outstanding adventure then began, in which the artist developed a unique space for creative work. Because he was unable to handle brushes, paints and drawing implements, he experimented and produced, with assistants, pictures that developed out of mental projection. His last canvases, allegorical, are wonders of compositions, in which there is no want of spiritual dimensions. In the last few years his work accepted and played with the Surrealist heritage. He was oriented to the creation of a universe in which symbolic and mythological elements that build works created for the present live in parallel. His oeuvre is one of the most important of the end of the 20th century, and is often compared with his alter egos, the leading spirits of the German painting of the 1980s, such as Georg Baselitz, Markus Lüpertz, Sigmar Polke or Anselm Kiefer It developed through various dimensions: politics, history, epic, aesthetics, history of art and biography, creating an amazing “Theatre of painting”. During his lifetime and after his death there were numerous one man shows of his work in Germany and throughout the world. We shall mention just a few of the locations (apart from the Michael Werner Gallery): the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam; the National Museum in Osaka; the Musée national d’art moderne centre Georges Pompidou (Pariz), Ace Contemporary Exhibitions (Los Angeles), Museo Tamayo (Mexico), Barbican Art Gallery (London), Kunstmuseum (Bonn), Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen (Berlin), Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin), Ashmolean Museum (Oxford)…

Sans titre
Sans titre, 2006

Huile sur toile
280cm x 330cm
Collection de la Fondation Maeght

Cette œuvre est le fruit d’un engagement total dans l’art. Elle se traduit par une qualité extrême dans la peinture, mais aussi dans le dessin et la sculpture. Comme le souhaitait Aimé Maeght, son ambition est de figurer le monde du siècle dernier et d’annoncer les scènes et les enjeux du XXIe siècle. Elle prendra place dans la collection de la Fondation comme l’une de ces œuvres majeures permettant de mieux comprendre l’époque et la place de l’artiste. Œuvre incisive, lucide, parfois dérangeante, elle n’oublie jamais la capacité qu’a la beauté de nous ouvrir les yeux.