Jörg Immendorff (1945 – 2007)

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Immendorff, DDR-Bild

DDR-Bild, 1977, Oil on Canvas

Immendorff, Mich an der Grenze

Mich an der Grenze, 1977, Oil on Canvas

Jörg Immendorff was a German artist, well-known for his innovative style of painting. Immendorf studied for a short time at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf but was expelled due to his radical political views and involvement with controversial neo-Dadaists. While at the Academy, Immendorf studied under Joseph Beuys, one of the best-known “Action Artists”.

Immendorff, Parlament I

Parlament I (Café Deutschland X), 1981, Oil on Canvas

Immendorff, Elektra

Elektra, 1995, Oil on Canvas

After leaving the Academy, Immendorf found a teaching position at a public school. For over ten years, from 1969 to 1980, Immendorf taught painting classes. During the 1980s, Immendorf travelled around Europe, painting and visiting universities upon invitation. By 1989, Immendorf gained professorship at the Stadelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In the mid 1990s, Immendorf became a professor at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, which was an ironic turn of events after being expelled from the Academy years prior.

Immendorff, Dr. Baselitz and Jorg Immendorf

Dr. Baselitz and Jörg Immendorf, 1998, Print on Paper

Immendorff, Adler

Adler, 1982, Oil on Canvas

Immendorf’s paintings are usually large-scale works, filled with politically-loaded imagery. Many of his paintings refer to the tension that existed between East and West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Immendorf was connected to the German art movement, Neue Wilde, and worked alongside painters such as A.R. Penck.

Immendorff, German Café

German Café, Oil on Canvas

Immendorff, Gyntiana: Birth/Onion Man

Gyntiana: Birth/Onion Man, 1992, Oil on Canvas

In addition to traditional oil painting on canvas, Immendorf worked on various stage sets, often for the Salzburg Festival. Immendorf also opened a bar known as La Paloma in Hamburg and created a number of public sculptures. One of Immendorf’s well-known sculptures is a twenty-five meter oak tree made out of iron in Riesa.

Immendorff, All's Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well, 1983, Oil on Canvas

Immendorff, Door to the Sun

Door to the Sun, 1994, Oil on Canvas, 280 x 280 cm

Over time, Immendorf’s eccentric behavior was exposed in the media. In 2000, he married Oda Jaune, a former student from Bulgaria who was thirty years younger. In 2003, Immendorf was found in a hotel with a large amount of drugs and numerous prostitutes. Immendorf was prosecuted and sent to trial, revealing his addiction to cocaine and regular organization or orgies with prostitutes. Immendorf was heavily fined and put on probation for nearly a year. While on probation, Immendorf was unable to teach but did resume his position afterwards.

Immendorff, Solo

Solo, 1988, Oil on Canvas, 250 x 150 cm

Immendorff, Marcel's Salvation

Marcel’s Salvation, 1998, Oil on Canvas, 260 x 300 cm

In 2004, Immendorf funded a project to research Lou Gehrig’s disease, an illness that he developed in the late 1990s. The disease eventually deteriorated his health to the point that he could no longer paint. Immendorf hired assistants to help him with projects until his death in 2007.

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