A. R. Penck

Dresde, 1939 - Zurich, 2017

German painter, sculptor, graphic artist and ... drummer.

Formed in East Germany, where he remained until 1980, he was never admitted to the Art School nor did he obtain official state recognition for his work, despite his later fame. Penck is thus essentially self-taught.

His pseudonym A.R. Penck, which he adopted in 1969, came from the geologist Albert R. Penck (1858-1945), author of The Alpes in the Ice Age (1909).

Unlike many of his contemporaries, who emigrated to West Germany in the 1960s, Penck could not leave until 1980. From this decade on, his painting of pictographic (art tolémico) and neo-primitivist images of human figures acquired much fame.

Penck's sculptures, though less familiar, evoke the same primitive themes as his paintings and drawings. He uses common materials such as wood, bottles, cardboard boxes, cans, packing tape, tin and aluminum foil, wires and paste, etc ... His pieces express simplicity and spontaneity.

His work is present in all the great contemporary art museums in Europe and North America.

At the end of the 80s he was part of the rock group "Triple Trip Touch" as a drummer and percussionist, collaborating with the best jazz musicians of the moment.

Exhibited Works

  • “Selbstportait”, acrylic on paper, 1939-2017.
  • ‘Sin título’ (self-portrait), colour lithograph on vellum-like paper, 1939-2017.