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IMMENDORFF

Jorg Immendorff (1945 - 2007)  Skip to Images

One of the leading figures of the new German Expressionism, along with George Baselitz and Anselm Keifer, Jrg Immendorff's paintings came to international prominence in the 1970's. Immendorff approached painting through a conceptualist stand-point; his works deal largely with the crisis of post-war German identity, a frenetic relationship with modernity, and a deep rooted faith in the role of the artist as an integral social and political force.

Immendorff's large canvases are fraught with imagery, a proverbial, and often literal theatre of decadence. His stage set compositions allude to the illusionary aspects of art: Immendorff doesn't present a reality, but rather a dominion of his own control, a personal mythology that is often poignant, humorous, scathing, and prophetic. With the Caf Deutschland series (late 1970s), and later the Caf de Flore series (1980's) Jorg  Immendorff posited a fictional territory within which he was free to explore his thoughts on art, his country, politics and the world in general.

"In my paintings, symbols associated with National Socialist Germany function as kinds of cliches in so far as they stand for universal evils. The factors that led to Hilter's rise to power and the destruction he subsequently wrought remain permanent dangers. Such images must be painted. To make them taboo would be regressive. The smoking swastika indicates that the matter is far from closed, be it in Germany or - from the perspective of 2003 - the malicious terrorism emanating from the Middle East. Evil takes root and flourishes when art and freedom of expression are censored...". (Immendorff, in conversation March 2003)

Myth-making is at the core of Immendorff's work. Developing his own complex brand of symbolism, his paintings can be read as allegory. Political iconography, such as the Soviet sickle, German eagle, and Worker's fist, mix quite literally with Immendorff's ever expanding cast of characters: both politicians and his artist friends. At the heart is a rewriting of history - both political and artistic - where personal positioning and moral reconciliation is at the forefront.

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IMMENDORFF, Joerg Solo 1988 Oil on canvas 200 x 150 cm Galerie Michael Werner

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IMMENDORFF, Joerg Cafe Deutschland - Cafeprobe 1980 Synthetic resin on canvas 280 x 350 cm Private collection

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IMMENDORFF, Joerg Cafe Deutschland II 1978 Oil on canvas 290 x 290 cm Kunstmuseum Bonn

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IMMENDORFF, Joerg Cafe Deutschland I 1978 Oil on canvas 280 x 320 cm Museum Ludwig Koln

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IMMENDORFF, Joerg Cafe Deutschland IV 1978 Oil on canvas 111 x 129 15/16 in. (282 x 330 cm) Collection Garnatz