Press Release
14 September 2007
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Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of important early paintings by the prominent and influential German artist, A.R. Penck (b. 1939, Dresden). The works in this exhibition were painted in Dresden during the 1960s and shed light on the development of A.R. Penck's unique style and sensibility.

From the beginning of his career as an artist A.R. Penck has pursued an intense interest in systems, structures and the forces that govern them. Information theories, cybernetics, science fiction, behavioral science, political and social philosophies'these are among the many subjects that both fascinate him and drive his prolific work in painting, drawing and sculpture, even today. This presentation of rarely seen paintings from the 1960s illustrates the first mature manifestations of A.R. Penck's wide-ranging interests.

The works in this exhibition are modest in size and painted on fabric or board, simple materials that would have been available to the artist in East Germany at the time. A seemingly minimalist vocabulary of dots, lines and abstract forms is repeated throughout the works, which are painted with dispatch in a manner suggestive of the expressive mark-making that would later emerge in A.R. Penck's painting. One recognizes the first traces of the iconography later found in the important 'Standart'works from the 1970s, a series for which the artist is best known. For all their apparent humility, these paintings are charged with vitality and an urgent sense of purpose, born of a need for communication over mere depiction. Their seemingly primitive iconography and style mask the deeply conceptual underpinnings of A.R. Penck's work.

A.R. Penck is an internationally renowned artist with numerous museum and gallery exhibitions to his credit. The artist participated in the biennials at Venice and São Paulo and at Documenta V, VI, VII and IX. Most recently a major retrospective of his painting and sculpture was presented by Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, and will travel to the Kunsthalle Kiel and the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris in 2008.

'A.R. Penck: Paintings from the Sixties'is on view from 4 October through 24 November 2007. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Please contact the gallery for more information.