new-york

A.R. Penck

Nolan/Eckman Gallery

This remarkable miniretrospective of A.R. Penck’s drawings creates the impression that he is a brooding, highly subjective artist, using his art to try to make sense of his personal experience. Though Penck’s famous Standart emblem—a generally glyphic, loosely primitive stick figure, supposedly representative of modern man at his most socially naked and vulnerable—makes an appearance in the works in this show, he is surrounded by haunting images. His Übergang_ (crossing-over) imagery, which articulates the danger he felt while living in East Germany and the anxiety he experienced upon leaving for West Germany, makes this explicit: the figure that represents Penck is shattered into fragments so small as to be barely recognizable as parts of a whole.

Again and again Penck portrays, if not himself, then people with whom he was deeply involved: Georg Baselitz in Studie zum G.B. (study for G.B.:

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