A. R. Penck
(Germany) *1939 in Dresden; †2017 in Zurich, Switzerland
Penck is one of the best known representatives of German painting, but his sculptures constitute an autonomous part of his work. Penck received international recognition for his vocabulary of pictorial signs – and the underlying theory – developed in the late sixties. His art is situated at the boundary between figure and concept. At the centre of his large-scale paintings are matchstick men surrounded by graphic abbreviations and ciphers. Resembling prehistoric drawings, they visualize possible cybernetic models and systems. Besides his occupation with natural sciences, Penck analyses the societal and political problems of the socialist system. In 1980, he left the GDR and moved to West Germany, where following his participation in the documenta 5 and 6 exhibitions, he was already one of the most important contemporary artists. Since 1989, Penck has been professor at the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts.