New York

Jörg Immendorff

Sonnabend Gallery

Of all the German painters arriving on these shores, Jörg Immendorff is perhaps the most difficult for Americans to comprehend. The German cultural references are unfamiliar and certainly less pressing to us than to a German audience, the handling seems relatively klutzy after our tutelage in the slicknesses of high abstraction and photo-generated or formalistic realism, and the imagery and figuration are executed with a playful, childlike, almost whimsical casualness which is altogether alien to our expectation of media-derived, rhetorically transparent imagery. Also, for us, political art is not only a major no-no genre, but when it does exist it usually becomes a form of sniping rather than of confrontation, consisting as it most often does of messages on walls, familiar images tampered with to make a nasty comment, criticality tempered by funniness (Leon Golub and Nancy Spero are the

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