JÖRG IMMENDORFF. LATE WORKS

16 JANUARY - 19 MARCH 2016

The Michael Werner Kunsthandel is delighted to announce an exhibition of late works by Jörg Immendorff (1945-2007). This show follows the publication of a new catalogue called „Paintings Volume III, 1999-2007“ ( Prof. Dr. Siegfried Gohr, Verlag Buchhandlung Walther König), and is the first exhibition in Cologne to focus on the late period of the artist’s work since his death.

For many years, any impartial consideration of Immendorff’s artistic achievement was overshadowed by sometimes emotional discussion regarding the authenticity of his work during the final years of his life.  The time has now come to re-evaluate this artist whose creative work exerted such a powerful influence on German post-war art as from the 1960’s. Following diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1997, Immendorff was compelled to radically reconsider the way he worked, as it was clear that in the foreseeable future he would no longer be able to rely on the use of his hands in the painting process. As a result, he trained a whole cohort of assistants to implement specific parts of the production process under his supervision. “This involved delegating individual steps in the artistic realisation to others, who were specialised in working the substrate and background to produce soft organic forms, mottled and marbled textures, refined transitions, painted framing, and the insertion of photographic material” (Prof. Dr. Gohr in the foreword to the catalogue). The design and motifs remained the responsibility of the artist, as far as this was possible. The computer provided a further essential tool that enabled him to try out new compositions based on sources from art history and his own material.

Jörg Immendorff’s later works make an impressive contribution to his legacy, which has hardly been researched to date. Caspar David Friedrich, Hans Baldung Grien and Leonardo da Vinci provide models from art history, which the artist incorporated into a dialogue with his own material from personal photographs and documentation relating to the performance art movement in the 1960s. They represent a very personal retrospective created out of need at the end of the artist’s life.