Sign In Sign out

A. R. Penck

Ralf Winkler

Ralf Winkler alias A. R. Penck was born in Dresden, Germany.
The painter and sculptor, trained as an advertising artist and worked under several pseudonyms such as Mike Hammer, Mickey Spilane, T.M., a.Y. or Theodore Marx. His stage name A. R. Penck honors the geologist and prehistorian Albrecht Penck.

Penck took drawing lessons from Jürgen Böttcher (Strawalde) in 1953/54 and was accepted into the artist group “Erste Phalanx Nedserd”. From 1956 he applied four times unsuccessfully to the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and to the Berlin Weissensee Academy of Fine and Applied Arts. Admission to the "Association of Visual Artists of the GDR" (VBK) was also rejected for political reasons. He continues to paint and earns his living with various small jobs during this time.

In 1966, the so-called "standard pictures" were created, whose visual language, according to Penck, aims for easy legibility. In the same year he founded the artist group "Lücke" together with his artist colleague Steffen Terk and others. From 1969 he increasingly became the focus of the Ministry for State Security. resulted in the confiscation of paintings. One of the reasons for this was his action alliance concluded with Jörg Immendorff in 1976, which advocated the abolition of the German border.

In 1979, after his studio was broken into, A. R. Penck was deprived of his citizenship. First he lived in Kerpen near Cologne and later in London. In addition to his painterly work, he created wooden sculptures from 1977, and from 1982 also made of bronze and marble, as well as woodcuts and drawings and sound recordings as a jazz musician. Since 1972, A. R. Penck has been represented several times at the documenta in Kassel and in 1984 at the Venice Biennale. In 1988 he received a call to the Düsseldorf Art Academy. In 1996, the multi-part sculpture “The Heavenly Fallers” was inaugurated in Wuppertal. In addition, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt dedicated a retrospective to him in 2007.

Source: Wettmann Art

More ...

Ralf Winkler, alias A. R. Penck, who also used the pseudonyms Mike Hammer, T. M., Mickey Spilane, Theodor Marx, "a. Y." or just "Y" (5 October 1939 – 2 May 2017) was a German painter, printmaker, sculptor, and jazz drummer. A neo-expressionist, he became known for his visual style, reminiscent of the influence of primitive art.

Penck was born in Dresden, Germany. In his early teens, he took painting and drawing lessons with Jürgen Böttcher, known by the pseudonym Strawalde, and joined with him to form the renegade artists’ group Erste Phalanx Nedserd [de] (“Dresden” spelled backward). The group sought artistic work without compromise. For this reason, their members refused to study at an academy. The group members were also denied membership in the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR. They, therefore, had to earn a living as workers or craftsmen. He later worked for a year as a trainee draftsman at the state advertising agency in Dresden. From 1955 to 1956, Winkler was a draftsman for the publicity agency DEWAG. Since 1956, he attempted but failed to gain admission to the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and the Berlin University of the Arts in East Berlin. Penck worked for several years as a stoker, a newspaper deliverer, a margarine packer and a night watchman. He also had a small acting role in the film Vintage 45 (1966), directed by Jürgen Böttcher.

In 1966, Winkler became a candidate to join the Association of Plastic Artists, now under the artistic pseudonym A. R. Penck. which was chosen after the geologist Albrecht Penck. Since 1969, he had increasingly problems with the Ministry of State Security of the GDR. His paintings were confiscated and his membership in the Association of Visual Artists of the GDR (VBK) was rejected.

Winkler was one of the founding members, in May 1971, together with Steffen Terk, Wolfgang Opitz and Harald Gallasch, of the artist group GAP, which existed until 1976. Since 1973, he worked under the pseudonyms Mike Hammer and TM. After serving the military service in 1974, he was awarded the Will Grohmann Prize, in 1975, by the Academy of Arts in West Berlin. By this time, the state security control over him also increased. In 1976, Penck met the West German painter Jörg Immendorff, with whom he would work together in the following years. In their work, they campaigned for the abolition of the inner German border, and for the dissidents, among them Rudolf Bahro and Robert Havemann. Since 1976, he also signed simply Y. In 1977, he had some of his paintings confiscated. In May 1979, several of his works and records were destroyed during a break-in into his studio.

Penck participated at Documenta 5 in Kassel in 1972, and also at Documenta 7 (1982) and Documenta IX in 1992. He was meant to exhibit at the Documenta 6 (1977), but was prevented to do so by the influence of an unofficial employee of the State Security of the GDR on a Hessian parliamentarian.

On 3 August 1980, he moved to West Germany. He first lived in Kerpen, southwest of Cologne. After emigrating, Penck became one of the foremost exponents of new figuration, alongside Jörg Immendorff, Georg Baselitz and Markus Lüpertz. Their work was shown by major museums and galleries in the West throughout the 1980s. They were included in a number of important shows including the famous Zeitgeist exhibition in the Martin Gropius Bau museum and the New Art show at the Tate in 1983. In 1981, the Goethe Foundation awarded him the Rembrandt Prize in Basel, Switzerland. In 1983, Winkler moved to London, England, and was awarded the Aachen Art Prize for 1985. In 1988 he participated in the exhibition Made in Cologne. In the same year, he was appointed professor of painting at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →

More ...
A. R. Penck Artworks
View all 4 artworks