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Postmodern and contemporary painting in Germany


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Title: Postmodern and contemporary painting in Germany

Post-modern and contemporary painting in Germany
Berlin Wall, 1989, marking the end of the Cold War
Annihilation of Modern Art in Nazi Germany 1933-
45 (left) Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German
Expressionist,1880-1938) Girl Under a Japanese
Umbrella, 1906 (right) Emil Nolde (German
Expressionist, 1867-1956), Excited People, 1910
(below) Degenerate Art Exhibition, Munich, 1937
The poster of the Degenerate Music exhibition
(1938). Jewish Composers and Jazz/Swing musicians
were, for instance, accused by the Nazis of
producing "degenerated music"...
Composition with Blue, 1926 Piet Mondrian, oil,
24 in. sq.
Degenerate Art
Marc Chagall, Purim, 1916-18, oil, 20 x 28 in,
exhibited in
Nazi Degenerate Art Exhibition
Good German Art Socialist Realism (only)
Joseph Beuys (German, 1921-1986), (left) Fat
Chair, 1964 (right) Felt Suit, 1970 (center)
Joseph Beuys the artist "The whole process of
living is my creative act."
First German artist after WW II to
achieve international fame based
on exploration of his German identity
Joseph Beuys, How to Explain Paintings to a Dead
Hare, performance on Nov. 26, 1965. Three hours
talking about pictures in in the Galerie Schmela
in Düsseldorf. The hare was one of Beuys totemic
animals. Artists face was coated with honey and
gold leaf and one of his shoes had an iron heel
symbolic materials. Artist shaman
Joseph Beuys, The Pack (2 views), 1969.
Volkswagen bus with twenty-four wooden sleds,
each with felt, flashlight, fat and stamped with
brown oil paint
The Dionysian versus the Apollonian
Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes
Me, performance, Action, René Block Gallery,
NYC, May, 1974
Beuys, Honey Pump at the Workplace for Documenta,
1977, electric motors pumped honey through a
gigantic assemblage of pipes in the stairwell of
the museum, symbolizing the circulation of life
and flowing energy.
(left) Beuys lecturing in New York, 1974, about
the social revolution to be led by artists
(everyone) (right) Beuys, Action Piece, 26-6
February 1972 presented as part of exhibition
held at the Tate Gallery February - March 1972.
Drawings are acts of mind mapping mental
processes toward transformative personal and
social consciousness. "Man is only truly alive
when he realizes he is a creative, artistic
Beuys inaugurating 7000 Oaks at Documenta 7,
Kassel, Germany, 1982. Project completed after
artists death the last tree was planted by his
son at the opening of Documenta 8 in 1987
Beuys was a founding member of the Green Party
  • Beuys 7000 Oak project extended by the Dia
    Foundation in 1996. Trees (of several kinds)
    planted on West 22nd Street, each paired with a
    basalt stone column

NYC students planting trees Social Sculpture
Anselm Kiefer (German b. 1945), Occupations, one
in photographic series, 1969 (artist is 24)
(right) Kiefer, Heroic Symbols, 1969 watercolor
and gouache on paper, left sheet 6 in. sq.,
right sheet 22 x 16 in.
This small self-portrait of the artist giving the
Nazi salute is pasted on the same sheet as the
watercolor of the sky, which, according to the
artist, has been wounded by shots.
Taken in Italy and France
Anselm Kiefer The Milky Way, 1985-87 Emulsion
paint, oil, acrylic, shellac on canvas with
applied wires and lead, 12ft 6 in
H Gotterdammerung
Anselm Kiefer, Inner Room, 1981 with (left)
source photo of Nazi meeting room, Albert Speer
Kiefer, Your Golden Hair, Margarete, 1981, oil,
emulsion, and straw on canvas, 51 x 67
Anselm Kiefer Twilight of the West Abendland
1989, lead sheet, synthetic polymer paint, ash,
plaster, cement, earth, varnish on canvas and
wood, 13 feet H Gotterdammerung
Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg, Living With Pop,
1963 a performance of Capitalist Realism
Düsseldorf artists mounted an installation of
objects in a local department store and installed
themselves with the commodities as a
demonstration of "Capitalist Realism." To what
situations for artists does "Capitalist Realism"
(left) Richter and Sigmar Polke, 1965, from
Richter/Polke exhibition catalogue (right)
Richter, 1998, from Gerhard Richter 40 Years of
Painting exhibition cat.
Gerhard Richter (b. Dresden, 1932), Uncle Rudi
Nazi officer, 1965, oil on canvas (right)
Administrative Building, 1964, Oil on canvas, 38
1/4 x 59 photo sources family snapshot and
encyclopedia sources See Jason Gaiger,
Post-conceptual painting Gerhard Richters
extended leave-taking
One has to believe in what one is doing, one
has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do pa
inting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it
to the point of believing that one might change h
uman beings through painting. But if one lacks t
his passionate commitment there is nothing left
to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For
basically painting is total idiocy. - R
Uncle Rudi very stupid killed after a few days
at war.
Richter, Aunt Marianne, oil on canvas, 1965, 47 x
51 in from a photograph of Richter as a baby with
Aunt Marianne, the sister of Uncle Rudi and
Richters mother. She was sent to a mental
institution when she was 18, where Nazi doctors
euthanized her. Whenever I behaved badly I was
told you will become like crazy Marianne.
  • Suddenly, I saw it (the photograph) in a new
    way, as a picture that offered me a new view,
    free of all the conventional criteria I had
    always associated with art. It had no style, no
    composition, no judgment. It freed me from
    personal experience.
  • - Richter

Richter, Phantom Interceptors, 1964, oil on
canvas, 55" x 6' 3 (right) Alpha Romeo (With
Text), 1965, oil on canvas, 60 x 59
Richter, Eight Student Nurses, 1966, oil on
canvas, 8 paintings each c. 36 x 27
in Disjunction of signified and signifier
Compare Richter, Eight Student Nurses, 1966, with
(left) Andy Warhol, Jackie The Week That Was,
Grisaille grey, like no other color is
suitable for illustrating nothing
- Richter
Richter, October 18, 1977 Baader-Meinhof series,
Confrontation 1 and 2, 1988 oil on canvas, all
45 H. Series based on media photographs of
members of the terrorist Red Army Faction their
arrest, imprisonment and death.
October, 1977, Protesters in Stuttgart at funeral
of Andreas Baader
(No Transcript)
Final paintings in Richters October 18,
1977 Baader-Meinhof series titled Tote 1, 2, and 3
(left) Richter, Abstract Painting, 1976, oil on
canvas, 26 x 23 in. After the gray paintings,
after the dogma of fundamental painting whose
purist and moralizing aspects fascinated me to a
degree bordering on self-denial, all I could do
was start all over again. This was the beginning
of the first color sketches.
Compare Rauschenberg, Factum I II, 1957
(left) Richter, Iceberg in Fog, 1982, oil on
canvas, 27 x 39 in compare (right) Caspar David
Friedrich (German Romanticism, 1774-1840) (top)
Monk by the Sea (1809) and (bottom) Polar Sea
Richter, Untitled, 1987, oil on canvas, 118
Richter, Betty, 1988, oil on canvas, 40 x 23
compare (right) Untitled, 1987 Painting is the
form of the picture, you might say. The picture
is the depiction, and painting is the technique
for shattering it.
Sigmar Polke (German, b. 1941), Modern Art,
1968 (right) Polke, Lovers II, 1965, oil and
enamel on canvas, 6 ft 3 in x 55 in Capitalist
Realism (German Pop)
Sigmar Polke, Bunnies, 1966, acrylic on linen, 58
x 39 Simulation of Raster dots (commercial
4-color printing)
Lichtenstein, cover of Newsweek, 1966
Ben-Day dots
Warhol, "Marilyn," 1964
Sigmar Polke, Alice in Wonderland, 1971, mixed
media on fabric strips, 10ft 6 x 8ft 6 private
collection, Cologne
Polke, from Watchtower series, 1984, synthetic
polymers on various fabrics
Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961, the GDR began under
the leadership of Erich Honecker to block off
East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means
of barbed wire and antitank obstacles.
Construction crews replaced the provisional
barriers by a solid wall.
Polke, The Spirits That Lend Strength Are
Invisible III (Nickel), 1988, nickel and
artificial resin on canvas, 157in. x 118 in.
Collection SFMOMA
Sigmar Polke, Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters,
1991, artificial resin and acrylic on synthetic
fabric, 9ft 10in x 16ft 5in
Georg Baselitz (Hans-Georg Kern, b. Dresden,
Germany,1938) The New Type, 1966, woodcut, 42 x
34 in compare (center below) Emil Nolde, The
Prophet, 1912, woodcut (right) Erich Heckel
(German, 18831970) Woman, 1914, woodcut
German Expressionism
1966 Neo-Expressionism
Baselitz, The Gleaner, oil and tempera on canvas,
130 x 98 in, 1978
Van Gogh, The Gleaner ink drawing, 1885
Baselitz, Lazarus, 1984
Baselitz with Neo-Expressionist (Neo-Primitivist)
sculpture, Man (1980s) and source in Sudanese
traditional sculpture (right) Kirchner (German
Expressionist), Dancer, 1914
A.R. Penck, (right) Penck, Standart, 1971 (left)
The Work Goes On, 1982, woodcut
Jörg Immendorff (b. 1941 Silesia, East Germany),
Can one change anything with these?, 1972,
acrylic on canvas, 20 x 31 ½ in
Joseph Beuys, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead
Hare, 1965, Dusseldorf. Immendorffs teacher
Jörg Immendorff, Café Deutschland I, 1978, oil
on canvas, 280 x 320 cm
Compare Expressionism of Max Beckmann (left),
Night, 1917-18 with Neo-Expressionism of
Immendorff, Café Deutschland I, 1978 What (form
and content) do they have in common?
Immendorf, Café Deutschland IV, 1978, oil on
canvas, 111 x 130 in. Dystopia
Blade Runner, film still, 1982
Immendorff, Café Deutschland Cafeprobe,
1980 synthetic resin on canvas, 280 x 350 cm
Jörg Immendorff, Café Deutschland, 1984, oil,
Leipzig group, 2006 from left Tilo Baumgärtel
(b.1972), Christoph Ruckhärberle (b. 1972),
Martin Kobe (b.1973), Matthias Weischer (b.1973),
and David Schnell (b.1971) The New York Times
2006 "Art Stars of the Decade" "If you want
to talk of an advantage, you can say it the
Iron Curtain allowed us to continue in the
tradition of Cranach and Beckmann. It protected
the art against the influence of Joseph Beuys.
- Leipzig AFA professor Arno Rink
The New York Times 2006 "Art Stars of the
The first generation of artists to grow up in the
reunified Germany
_saat.pdf Check out this guide for the 2006
Triumph of Painting exhibition Leeds City
Gallery, England all by Saachi Gallery, London,
Max Beckmann (German, 1884-1950), Departure,
1932 Leipzig native son
Beckmann at MoMA NYC, 1947, in front of Departur
Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553), The
Golden Age, 16th Century Progenitor of Leipzig
tradition in painting
Neo Rauch (b. 1960, Leipzig, Germany, lives and
works in Leipzig) shown (2006) in studio before
one of his paintings. Rauch was trained in
communist social realism
Neo Rauch, Das Neue (The New), 2003 "It is
important to create a definite environment or
stage on which things can happen. For me, the
function of painting as I understand it is to
work with myths. I try to create a widespread
system where impulses are trapped. With an
analytic understanding, you can't grasp it."
Giorgio di Chirico, (Italian 1888-1978) Philos
ophers Conquest,
1913 (compare)
(right) Neo Rauch, Diktat, 2004 (left top)
Balthus (French, 19082001) The Mountain, 1937,
oil on canvas, 98 x 144 in (left below) René
Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), The Menaced
Assassin, 1926
Matthias Weischer, Living Room, 2003, Oil on
Canvas, 170 x 190cm
Tilo Baumgaertel, Hydroplane, oil on linen, 200 x
300 cm, 2002
Christoph Ruckhäberle (Germany, b.1972), Lake at
Sunset, 2004, oil on canvas, 279 x 381cm
E.L. Kirchner, 1909
Cézanne, 1876
Cribbed from all the best bits of art history…
- Saatchi Gallery publicist
Martin Kobe, Untitled, 2003, Acrylic on canvas,
37 5/8 x 53 1/8 in.
Tim Eitel, (left) Bomber Jacket, 2003 (right)
Film, 2003
2005 Exhibitions of Leipzig painters have titles
such as Life after Death, and Cold Hearts
  • Russian émigrés

Komar Melamid, Catalogue of Super Objects,
1977 SOTS ART (Moscow Conceptual Art /
Apartment Art)
Khaasha is a headband with a floral crest and a
curved wire that extends a small cup to the we
arer's nose. Into this "special, medium-sized
chalice" one puts "a small piece of your love's
skin, flower petals, or whatever you prefer."
Charog 15, a grill fitting in front of the face
to "protect
the purity of your thoughts."
Vitaly Komar (b. Moscow,1943) and Alex Melamid
(b. Moscow,1945) (left) Stalin and the Muses,
1981-2, oil on canvas, 6x7ft 7in. (right) Double
Self-Portrait as Young Pioneers, 1982-83, oil on
canvas, 72 x 50 in. (from Nostalgic Socialist
Realism series).
(conceptual painting, yes?)
Komar Melamid, The Origin of Socialist Realism
(from Nostalgic Socialist Realism series), 72 x
48, tempera and oil on canvas, 1982-83 Karp
Trokhimenko (1885-1975), Stalin as an Organizer
of the October Revolution, 1940s, oil on canvas,
85 x 117 cm. (Socialist Realism)
Komar Melamid, America's Most Wanted Painting,
Statistical charts from Komar Melamids survey
for Most Wanted Painting published in The Nation
Ilya Kabakov (Russian, b. 1933)
The Man Who Flew into Space From His Apartment,
from Ten Characters, 1981-8, Installation post
er panels, furniture, clothing, catapult
household objects, wooden plank, scroll, 8 x 8 x
12 ft
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, The Palace of Projects,
a building devoted to the housing of sixty-five
"projects" conceived by the artists between
(No Transcript)
Kabakov, Palace of Projects, Project 1 How Can
One Change Oneself?
Kabakov, Palace of Projects, Project 15, To
Escape From Oneself
Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Klerk were
international symbols of apartheid. As a leader
of the African National Congress and a
participant in the struggle to overthrow
apartheid, Mandela spent more than 25 years as a
political prisoner. When De Klerk assumed the
presidency of South Africa in September 1989, he
began to change the system of apartheid and
abolish discriminatory laws. On February 11,
1990, De Klerk released Mandela from prison.
F.W. De Klerk and Nelson Mandela
William Kentridge (South Africa,1955), Felix in
Exile, 1994, video with sound, 000843, Edition
of 10, dimensions vary with installation
Hand-drawn animated films that focus on
apartheid- and post-apartheid South
Africa through two fictive white characters, the
pensive Felix Teitlebaum and the
aggressive industrialist Soho Eckstein, the
artists alter egos
Kentridge, History of the Main Complaint, 1996,
drawing in chalk and charcoal, still from video
with sound, 000550, edition of 10, dimensions
vary with installation
Kentridge, Drawing for Stereoscope, "Untitled,"
1998-99, charcoal, pastel, and colored pencil on
paper, 47 1/4 x 63"
William Kentridge (South African, born 1955),
Casspirs Full of Love, 19892000, drypoint 65
1/2 x 38 3/8 in.
  • The Casspir, a landmine protected personal
    vehicle, was ubiquitous during the days of
    apartheid in South Africa. It was commonly used
    in the townships for crowd and riot control.

Marlene Dumas (South African, 1953) , The
Painter, 1994, oil on canvas, 79 in. H
I treat all colors as equally strange."
Marlene Dumas, Mixed Blood, 1996, ink, gouache,
and synthetic polymer paint on paper Beaubourg,
Dumas, Chlorosis (Love sick), 1994, ink, gouache,
and synthetic polymer paint on paper, each sheet
26 x 19 ½, MoMA NYC
Dumas, Blindfolded, 2005, ink on paper, Africa
ReMix Exhibition, Paris
Dumas, Passion, 1994, gouache and ink on paper,
61 x 49cm
Dumas, Head Rest, watercolor on paper,
2004 compare Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918),
Girl with Black Hair, 1911, watercolor and pencil
on paper, 22 1/8 x 14 1/2"
Tiananmen Square, Beijing April 15 June 4 1989
Students demanding dialogue with government
Student camp Tiananmen Square
Contemporary Painting China
  • The People's Republic of China was established on
    October 1, 1949
  • The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in
    China (1966 -1976) Socialist Realism imposed
  • After the death of Mao (1976) and the rise of
    Deng Xiaoping the art universities and the art
    academies, closed during the Cultural Revolution,
    reopened in the their first graduates came out in
    the early 80s. These artists believed they had
    creative freedom until the repressions of 1989.
    The market for their art has been international,
    outside of China, until recently.

"The People's Liberation Army of China is a
grand school of Mao Tse-tung Thought Chinese
Socialist Realism during the Cultural Revolution
(1966 -1976)
Jacques Louis-David (French Neo-Classicist,
1748-1825), Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine,
2 December 1804, oil on canvas, 1805-7. Sources
for totalitarian Socialist Realisms go back to
French revolutionary painting 1789 through
Empire of Napoleon I.
Boris Vladimirski, Roses for Stalin, 1949
Soviet socialist realism (left) is source for
Chinese socialist realism (right)
To carry the Great Revolution of
Proletarian Culture out to the End, 1972
Vasili Ivanov, Vladimir Lenin, c.1950
Work Hard for Speeding Up the Modernization
Of Agricultural Machinery, 1972
Quotations of Mao,1967
Socialist Realism during The Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution in China, 1966-1976
Work Hard to Realize the Fourth Five
Year Plan of National Economy, 1972
Contemporary Painting in China Post-1989 /
Post-Ideological Capitalist miracle and
communist government
Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989
Lang Xingwei, Rabbits Testimony, 1995
Liu Dahong (b. China 1962) Four Seasons LR
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, 1991, Oil on
canvas, 70 x 40 cm
Liu Dahong, More in New Shanghai, oil, 2002
Shanghai Biennale
Liu Dahong, Highlighting Mosaic of Shanghai,
2002 oil on canvas, 120 x 35 cm Shanghai
Bienniale, 2004
Dahong, Tibetan Beauty Comes to Central China
oil on canvas, 2005
Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958. Lives in Beijing),
Bloodline, The Big Family No. 2, 1995 Sichuan
school We live in a big family, the first thing
we learn is how to shut ourselves up in a secret
small cell and pretend to keep step with all the
other members of the Family.
Zhang Xiaogang Bloodline, Comrade 120, 1998
Highest price paid for a Chinese contemporar
y painting 979,200 at Sothebys (2006) Sma
ll stain on part of the portrait Suggests surfa
ce damage of an old photograph or mask. Post-M
aoist individualism in question
Zhang Xiaogang, Amnesia and Anamnesis Shanghai
Biennale, 2004 "On the surface the faces in these
portraits appear as calm as still water, but
underneath there is great emotional turbulence.
Within this state of conflict the propagation of
obscure and ambiguous destinies is carried on
from generation to generation."
Fang Lijun (Chinese, b. 1963) Series 2 No 2,
1991-1992, oil on canvas, 6 ½ ft square Cynical
Social Realism
Fang Lijun, Series 2 No. 6, 1991-1992, oil on
canvas, 6 ½ ft square
Fang Lijun, Series 2 No. 7, 1991-1992, oil on
canvas, 6 ½ ft square
Fang Lijun, Untitled, Installation View, woodcut,
Yue Minjun (China b. 1962), Red No. 1, 1999, oil,
16 x 12 in (right) Yue Minjun in his studio
Yue Minjun Farmer, 1997, oil on canvas,59 in H
The Laughing Proud of Gleeful Fools 2, 29 x
22.5 inches, silkscreen, 17 x 30 in, 1999
  • Wenda Gu

studied under the classical landscape painting
master Lu Yanshao His grandfather was a
known filmmaker
Wenda Gu (China, b. 1956, has lived in NYC since
1987), United Nations Project, Exterior of temple
made with human hair of all races, various
site-related versions were exhibited in
cosmopolitan centers all over the world between
Wenda Gu, United Nations Babel of the
Millennium, 1999 installation at SFMoMA, an
entirely human-hair made tower of nonsensical
pseudo-Chinese, English, Hindi, Arabic and
synthesized English-Chinese, 75 feet high x 34
feet across
Xu Bing (China, b. 1955) A Book from the Sky
National Gallery of Canada, 1998
Prague installation
Gallery visitors in Beijing attempt to read the
nonsense characters on the printed scrolls of A
Book from the Sky.
Printing blocks for A Book from the Sky
Xu Bing in his studio hand carving the characters
for A Book from the Sky.
An original printing block for
A Book from the Sky.
Xu Bing A Case Study of Transference, Two live
breeding pigs in an enclosed exhibition space
with unreadable characters in English and
Chinese. Performance and video 1994-5
Artist writing English Words on the pig.
Case Study for Transference 1,
performed at the Han Mo Art Center, Beijing in
(No Transcript)
Post-Colonial Post-Modern painting Shahzia
Sikander (b. Lahore, Pakistan, 1969) , Venice
Biennale 2005, SpiNN, 2003 Installation DVD
large screen projection
Sikander in Venice with SpiNN, 2005
This is what interests me as an artist how you
can create work that somehow transcends place
and time. Sikander, What is Under the Blouse?
What is Under the Dress?, 1997, vegetable color,
dry pigment, watercolor, and tea on hand-prepared
wasli paper, 9 ¼ x 5 in.
Sikander in NYC studio, 2001
(left) Pre-Mogul (Muslim dynasty of Mongol origin
that ruled much of India 1526-1857) miniature
painting of divine Krishna and Radha, 10th book
of Bhagavata Purana (Hindu) (center) The
Adventures of Hamza, commissioned by Mughal
emperor Akbar c.1557 (right) Shahzia Sikander,
Intimacy, 2001, watercolor, dry pigment,
vegetable color, tea, and ink on hand-prepared
wasli paper, 11 x 8 ½ in.
(right) Rajput (Hindu) miniature painting of the
Army of Tamerlane storming the walls of the
Rajput city of Bhatnair in 1398 British Rule
in India between 1776-1947 A.D). In 1947
independent (Islamic) state of Pakistan gained
independence from (Hindu) India
The Pre-Colonial Indian Subcontinent, 1000-1500
Sikander, Installation at the Renaissance
Society, U of Chicago, 1998
Shahzia Sikander, To Desire, 2004 Ink and gouache
on paper, from series created in response to a
collection of traditional paintings at the San
Diego Museum of Art (compare right) Mythical
Peacock with a Woman's Head, ca. 1750, Deccani
school, Hyderabad, opaque watercolor and gold on
Shahzia Sikander, To Define, 2004, ink and
gouache on paper (compare right) The Holiest
Shrines of Islam Mecca and Medina (Dala'il
Al-Khayrat), ca. 1660, Golconda, opaque
watercolor and gold on paper
Sikander, Pleasure Pillars, 2001, watercolor, dry
pigment, vegetable color, tea, and ink on
hand-prepared wasli paper, 12 x 10 in.