Press Release
JÖRG IMMENDORFF: NEW PAINTINGS
3 January 2007
UPPER EAST SIDE, NEW YORK
PDF Version v

Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by the pre-eminent German artist, Jörg Immendorff (b. 1945).

Jörg Immendorff's newest paintings continue to explore the artist's deep interest in an evolving, personal iconography, re-contextualizing symbols and characters of earlier series alongside images from contemporary and historical events. New imagery appears, shifting the focus to themes of violence, death and the passing of time: scenes from Goya's "Disasters of War", for example, commingle with imagery from current conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, allowing the artist to simultaneously explore themes of personal and global significance.

As Kevin Power writes in the catalogue essay:

These new works are nightmare visions, ironic commentaries, critical monologues, voluptuous excesses and ravaged pain. Disturbed by a strange beauty, all is sent to the final flames. Immendorff reviews his life, his times, his work, events that pulse parallel to his actual daily living and hurls them all on the pyre and from there they surge, like a phoenix, back to life.

The iconographic language Jörg Immendorff continues to cultivate began while he was a student of Joseph Beuys in the 1960s. Responding to the chaos and social crises of a split Germany, Immendorff temporarily abandoned painting in favor of political activism enacted through performance. Immendorff later returned to painting, eventually embarking on the lengthy "Café Deutschland" series to address issues of German identity and world history. The series met with critical acclaim and was featured in the artist's first major museum exhibition at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and later at Documenta VII, in 1982. In the series "Café de Flore" which followed, Immendorff further explored his thoughts on politics, his country, art and the world in general. "The Rake's Progress" paintings and drawings of the 1990s, inspired by William Hogarth's 18th century etchings parodying a Christian morality play, are peopled by significant figures from Immendorff's career portraying characters in the play.

Jörg Immendorff was born in 1945 in Bleckede, Germany, and lives and works in Düsseldorf. Exhibitions of his work have traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the United States, and include major one-person exhibitions at Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Municipal Museum, The Hague; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Kuntsmuseum, Bonn; Arts Club of Chicago; and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Jörg Immendorff received the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany in 1998.

The exhibition is on view 24 January through 24 March 2007. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10am until 6pm. A full-color catalogue with text by Kevin Power accompanies the exhibition. Please contact the gallery for further information.