A.R. Penck, London
The Guardian
Oliver Basciano
11 December 2015


A.R Penck and gallerist Michael Werner go back a long way. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was Werner who would pick up the paintings that Penck smuggled out of his East German home town of Dresden. The artist was outspoken and received no support from the state for his work, relying on sales in the west of his pared-down landscapes and portraits of hieroglyphic stick men. It was these that ensured Penck was linked with the neo-expressionist painters of the moment, Georg Baselitz and Anselm Kiefer among them. This show looks back to those early years in which the artist, unable to secure government-controlled art materials, was forced to paint on tablecloths, bedsheets, wood and other found materials.