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Currently shown
Jörg Immendorff

Deutschland Café XIII

Artist

Jörg Immendorff
Bleckede, Germany, 1945 – Düsseldorf 2007

Title

Deutschland Café XIII

Date

1982

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

282 x 400 cm

Credits

Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1985.2

Collection

International Contemporary Art

The Deutschland Café series is considered Immendorff’s most significant body of work and has ensured his position as a unique figure among Germany’s Neo-expressionists. He began it in 1977 and completed nineteen paintings by 1984. The cycle’s combination of history, autobiography and quotation provided a means for Immendorff to investigate the complex nature of post-war Germany’s social, political and artistic inheritance. Here the surface is crowded with incident and symbols. In one section, a barrel-chested figure seems about to sing or issue a command; in another, two men sit at a bar reading and drinking; and throughout the café, painters are reaching for and handing over paintings made of shards of ice. These join the scattered feathers of the fallen imperial eagle that, its tongue hanging from an open beak, symbolizes a damaged and divided German culture.

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