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* 5.10.1939 Dresden, † 2.5.2017 Zurich

Born Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939, A.R. Penck worked in the former GDR under various pseudonyms such as "TM", "Y" and "Mike Hammer". The art academies in East Berlin repeatedly rejected the young art enthusiast. He was therefore forced to find another route into making art, completing an apprenticeship as a technical draughtsman and studying under Jürgen Böttcher. He earned his living as a stoker, night watchman, craftsman and postman. The young painter became a member of the artists' group "Ersten Phalanx Nedserd", who united in their opposition to any demands for compromise in art. From the 1960s onwards, Ralf Winkler became increasingly involved with information theory and other scientific disciplines. From then onwards he worked exclusively under the pseudonym A.R. Penck, which referred to the geologist and glaciologist Albrecht Penck, whom the artist held in high esteem.

At this time Penck turned away from realistic painting and developed his completely independent pictorial and perceptual language, with which he achieved international recognition. His unmistakable style of abstracted figures and pictorial signs is a universal vocabulary which anyone can decipher. To this radical reduction of forms to schematic, pictogram-like signs and stick figures he gave the name "StandArt" - an allusion to the signalling effect of commonly known standard symbols.

The artist died in Zurich in 2017, leaving behind an extensive canon of images, which comprises paintings, drawings, artist's books, prints, and wood and bronze sculptures, and which has a universal and timeless validity.

Works from our auctions

Works by this artist from our auctions

Following are some examples of works by this artist from our past and future auctions.
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