Projekt Germania (Konzept G). 1980. Acrylic on canvas. Lower right inscribed "Y. G." in pencil. 199 x 59.5 cm (78.3 x 23.4 in).
EXHIBITION: Galerie Michael Werner, Cologne (verso of stretcher with a label).
"..A. R. Penck's work thrives on the tension between system and anarchy, betwenn a quest for a universal sign language that is inspired by Cybernetics and an expressive, gestural and highly individual painting style that blows up any logic. Perhaps this is, beyond the pictures' titles and the artist's statements, the key to what is German about Penck's art.. " Rainer Unruh in: kunstforum international, vol. 199, p. 286
The German division is one of A.R.Penk‘s main topics, as he was most personally affected by it. After he had completed an apprenticeship as commercial artist in Dresden he had to make ends meet as mailman, heater and night watchman, as he was repeatedly harassed by the GDR Department of Culture. He renders his interpretation of the world in hieroglyphic stick figures and forms that leave the observer a bit perplexed. The art of the autodidact had long been met with recognition in the west when he was expatriated in 1980. This painting "Projekt Germania" was made the same year. Both title and colors - black, red and gold – refer to the two then still separate countries. Colors are placed in a clear and easy arrangement, a lot different from Penck's later works which are far darker. The figure of the Germania splits the picture in two parts - just like a wall.