This retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of Jörg Immendorff (Bleckede, Germany, 1945 –Düsseldorf, Germany, 2007) surveys a career spanning more than four decades, setting forth the key stages and transformations in the artist’s work: from the sociopolitical and political upheaval works he conceived between the 1960s and early 1980s, to the encoded paintings in the latter stages of his output.
At the end of the 1970s, Immendorff’s outlook as a political activist, teacher and artist strongly shifted in focus. In 1976, a pivotal year in his career, he took part in the Venice Biennale with an action that involved handing out flyers which criticised the German Democratic Republic’s deprivation of liberty and called for the cooperation of international artists to turn the situation around. Two years later, he began Café Deutschland, a series based on Renato Guttuso’s Caffè Greco (1976) which he had seen displayed in Cologne. In the series, the hallmarks and characteristic colours of his painting take on greater expression as he breaks away from ideological symbols – his art was still political but now distanced from current events.
This turning point in the artist’s work, based on a concentration of form and content, made headway until it gave rise to a final stage in his oeuvre, defined by the “purification” of visual language which saw his work gain renewed pictorial energy and greater luminosity. As Immendorff defined it: “I’m glad that this radical concentration has meant we have left behind the question about the narrative thread. Gradually, I have suppressed the narrative glitz in order for form and colour to become the focus of attention naturally”.
Rather than follow a strict chronology, the show, which welcomes in the region of one hundred works by the artist in an array of mediums — painting, sculpture, drawings — is organised around different themed chapters, threaded together with the evolution and processes of change in Immendorff’s art.
Jörg Immendorff. Wo stehst du mit deiner Kunst, Kollege? (Where Do You Stand with Your Art, Man?), 1973. Acryllic on canvas 130 x 210 cm. Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Haus der Kunst, Munich: 13 September, 2018 – 27 January, 2019
Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid: 30 October, 2019 – 13 April, 2020
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications
15 December 2020 – 12 April 2021
The Kind Cruelty
León Ferrari, 100 Years
11 November, 2020 - 1 March, 2021
Mondrian and De Stijl
Exhibition temporarily closed
From North to South, Rhythms
14 October, 2020 - 15 February 2021
Sound Experimentation 1980-2020
7 October, 2020 - 26 April, 2021
Niño de Elche
Invisible Auto Sacramental: A Sonic Representation from Val del Omar
23 September, 2020 - 1 March, 2021
Art in Sound up to 1980
Exhibition temporarily closed
To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love
25 September 2020 – 5 February 2021
What Are We Doing Here?
Alternative Spaces in Madrid at the Turn of the CenturyMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación