In a comprehensive exhibition at its offshoot gallery in Augsburg, the Pinakothek der Moderne
delves into the world of Jörg Immendorff (1945 2007), presenting nearly 50 works by one of our eras most provocative artists. Immendorffs work is marked by his sustained confrontation with the political and aesthetic conditions that characterised divided post-war Germany. Today it remains a thorn in societys side, provoking debate about artistic freedom and responsibility. Addressing contemporary themes with a dense, dissonant array of figures, Immendorffs images resist simple interpretation and prompt a nuanced dialogue with art history. His work takes inspiration from sources as diverse as Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and William Hogarth, as well as Surrealist images, the picture stories of William Busch, and Socialist Realist works attempting to be the voice of the people. An in- depth consideration of this singular, contrary oeuvre is now on display for one year at the Staatsgalerie Moderne Kunst in Augsburg.
Trying to Become an Eagle, which presents major works from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, spans various periods in the artists career. It is complemented by a generous loan from Stephan and Susanne Böninger, giving the exhibition a comprehensive, nearly retrospective dimension. In this context, the museums holdings are distinguished by the collections of Franz Herzog von Bayern (known as the the Wittelsbacher Ausgleichsfonds since 1984), long-term loans from Michael and Eleonore Stoffel, the purchases of PIN Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne, and the acquisition of a pivotal Café Deutschland painting with public funds.
Since 1995, Stephan and Susanne Böninger have assembled one of the most impressive Immendorff collections in Germany. This exhibition marks its first large-scale presentation to the public. With its focus on works created since the mid-1980s, the Böninger collection serves as an excellent complement to the museums early LIDL works and paintings from around 1980.
In addition to paintings and sculptures, the film The Rakes Progress will be on view. Throughout his life, Immendorff was closely connected to the performing arts, and created the scenery and costumes for Igor Stravinskys opera based on paintings by William Hogarth (1697 1764). In the 1994 production of the opera in Salzburg, the artist identified himself with the main character. Not unlike his paintings, his work for the opera included appearances by contemporaries such as Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penck, and Michael Werner his gallerist of many years. Together, they created a colourful vision of German art from the second half of the 20th century.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in German and English published by Buchhandlung Walther König. The catalogue features images of the exhibited works as well as seven essays by Tilman Spengler, a friend of the artist. In his writing for the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Spengler describes the rich diversity that characterises Immendorffs work and life in a deeply personal, convivial manner. Corinna Thierolf also contributed to the catalogue and Karen Appel wrote captions for selected works.