Jörg Immendorff

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Cast steel sculpture Elbquelle (Riesa, 25m tall, erected 1999)

Jörg Immendorff (June 14, 1945 – May 28, 2007) was one of the best known contemporary German painters; he was also a sculptor, stage designer and art professor.


  • I am for a form of art, that sees itself as one of the many means through which human society can be changed.
  • Something is beautiful if it is honest. If you do an engaged piece of work, which is sincere, the concept of beauty meets the concept of truth. So no illusive harmony. I try to reach people who strive for truth, for identity. Although these conceptions are incredibly warn out, one must try to find the way back to these simple conceptions.
  • Aber nicht das volle Format trifft den Betrachter, sondern das, was vielleicht ganz leise zu ihm spricht. Das, was einflüsternd zu Ihnen vorstößt, was etwas in Ihnen freilegt an Energien, an die Sie schon gar nicht mehr geglaubt haben

Quotes about Jörg Immendorff[edit]

  • He was best known for his populous, elaborately theatrical “Cafe Deutschland” paintings. Begun in the late 1970s, these were part political cartoon, part history painting, part memoir. They lampooned the paradoxes of West German society by depicting disparate casts of characters in skewed cabaret settings. Their rubbery forms and figures might include the German eagle, Stalin or Hitler, as well as friends and other artists. These were the first works that Mr. Immendorff exhibited in New York in the early 1980s at the Sonnabend Gallery, then in SoHo.
  • Jörg Immendorff was one of the most divisive artists in the post-war German art scene, as his paintings could not be approached in a classical, art-loving, aestheticising manner, or classified into art historical categories; moreover his subjects and the solutions in his pictures are unsettling to some people, even today. At the same time, he was one of the most “typical” West German painters of his day, not only because he focused on obviously German (political) matters in his works, but also because he took earlier German painting traditions – the visual world of Otto Dix, George Grosz and Max Beckmann – and progressed forward with them, enriching them with bold innovations. His characteristic tumultuous, exultantly coloured, constantly moving imagery and compositions were arrived at step by step.

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