040308: Essl Museum - Jörg Immendorff

Essl Museum – Jörg Immendorff – What painting can mean to us Trendsetter and epigone One must admit: Jörg Immendorff composed some really awe-inspiring paintings. Such as the “Ostjörg” (1980), which depicts a traumatic paraphrase of east-west politics similar to the friendship among artists in a venomous-yellow atmosphere. Or the untitled painting on which you see the artist himself and his friend A.R. Penck, both using tongs to pull at a piece of barbed wire, guarded by the omnipresent eagle. And even the (maybe not so) self-deprecating work “I wanted to become an artist” (1972) with its lapidary combination of text and painting, is extremely impressive. Immendorff compresses symbolic and narrative elements, pours them into a strong composition; the colouring being partly absolutely magnificent. In the centre of the exhibit are not Immendorff’s works from the late 70s and early 80s – the period from which his most fascinating work originated – but rather the series of his works “In meinem Salon Österreich”, which he named after Berta Zuckerkandl’s biography. It shows the collectors Agnes and Karl Heinz Essl sitting at a table with the Austrian artists Maria Lassnig, Arnulf Rainer, Hermann Nitsch and Christian Ludwig Attersee. Tayfun Belgin describes the painting blatantly “as a gorgeously artistic tribute to the collector couple Essl”. In addition, the exhibition also displays illustrations, which Immendorff obviously created rather “en passant” during his visits to Austria. During his best years Immendorff developed trends; toward the end he lagged behind them. On account of his illness he was no longer able to paint in his last years, and assistants worked according to his instructions. He composed seemingly esoteric, collage-like scenes in which one detects German art history motives, or Hitler in an encounter with Duchamp. Sometimes a sprayed grate will show up – something Sigmar Polke could have created many decades ago. Essl Museum 3400 Klosterneuburg, An der Donau-Au 1, until 24.04.08

Essl Museum
3400 Klosterneuburg, An der Donau-Au 1
Tel: +43-2243-370 50 150
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