Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present a rare and important group of works on paper by post-war German artist A.R. Penck (1939-2017). Created in the 1970s when Penck’s fame was growing in the West but he still lived under the authoritarian control of the GDR, the works are unusually full and expressive and mark a transition for the artist. In 1973, Penck announced that his "Standart" project had come to an end. In the works on paper, the figures and symbols of "Standart" are combined, broken down, destroyed, and dissolved into the background.
Born as Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939, the artist worked under the pseudonym A.R. Penck. As a child, he witnessed the firebombing of his city, an experience that impacted the course and development of his life. Continually surveilled and harassed by the East German authorities, A.R. Penck emigrated to the West in 1980. His career spanned more than five decades. A.R. Penck participated in documenta 5 and contributed major works to three subsequent presentations of documenta. Numerous solo exhibitions worldwide include Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Tate Gallery, London; Kunsthaus, Zürich; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Kunstmuseum den Haag. The artist died in Zürich in 2017.