Michael Werner – A.R. Penck: Systems: Felt Works and Paintings

19 November - 19 February, 2022
A.R. Penck, “Unbekanntes in Bekanntes verwandeln (Turn the Unknown into the Known)”, 1999 Acrylic on canvas 47 1/4 x 39 3/4 inches, 120 x 100 cm RP 979, © The Artist, Image Courtesy of Michael Werner, London

Michael Werner Gallery, London is pleased to present A.R. Penck – Systems: Felt Works and Paintings. Throughout his career, Penck depicted the human struggle stemming from man-made political, scientific, and societal systems. On view are paintings, works on paper, and a unique group of felt sculptures on display for the first time in the UK.

One of the greatest artists to come from post-war Germany, A.R. Penck (b. 1939, d. 2017) is the pseudonym of Ralf Winkler. Born in Dresden, he witnessed the firebombing of his city as a child and the experience impacted the course and development of his life. At the start of his career, Penck lived in the authoritarian environment of the GDR and his access to materials was limited. During this time, the artist created a simplified pictorial vocabulary derived from language, mathematics, cybernetics, information systems and behavioural theories. Using his own personal lexicon of signs and symbols, the artist challenged the relationship between man and society. While Penck’s work was borne from post-World War II ideologies and the repressive political state of East Germany, the visual language he invented is universal, timeless, and contemporary.

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