cologne

Jörg Immendorff

Michael Werner Kunsthandel | Cologne

Though the 19th-century notion of the artist as genius is now often regarded as a myth, Rudolf Schmitz’s catalogue essay assures us that it is precisely Jörg Immendorff’s recognition of the complicity between himself and his genius that has led to his “clear-sighted self-portrait.”

In Solo, 1990, Immendorff sits in a chair; on the table in front of him, we see a champagne bucket containing two bottles, a half-empty glass, a pack of cigarettes, and a full ashtray. He props his head on one hand, his other hand holds a cigarette. Outside, in the background of the painting, the ignorant, seemingly blithe, go about their daily business. The artist is seen as the lonesome hero, vicariously assuming the sufferings of the world, drowning his sorrow in alcohol, and thereby perishing. This is no “clear-sighted self-portrait.” This is a self-portrait that feeds on the mythic ideal of the transfiguration

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