Exhibition | 31.07.2009 EXTENDED UNTIL 9.05.2010

A.R. Penck

Sixty years of the Constitution, twenty years since the Fall of the Wall and reunification. In 2009/10, we in Germany are commemorating a number of historical events which have decisively defined the development of our country. This has prompted the Weserburg, Bremen’s museum of modern art, to introduce a two-part series of exhibitions that focus on the subject of Germany. It starts with the exhibition A.R. Penck—Deutschland (A.R. Penck—Germany), followed by Freibeuter der Utopie (Buccaneers of Utopia) next year.

In the German Democratic Republic, A.R. Penck (Ralf Winkler), whose work has been increasingly acknowledged in the West since the late sixties, could only be appreciated in the underground scene, as he was denied official recognition as an artist. In 1980, he was expatriated. After a short stay in West Germany, he moved to Dublin. His reason: “A German immigrant in Germany—that’s impossible. If one has to be an immigrant, then a real one.”

With the exception of Jörg Immendorff, Penck (*1939 in Dresden), examined the subject of Germany like hardly any other artist. In the early sixties he began producing his standart paintings, developing an artistic language based on simple sign structures that in an unmistakable way depict the social situation in the era of the German schism and the division of the world into two hostile blocs.

The exhibition presents the artist personality A.R. Penck with works from the Böckmann Collection, Berlin. With more than forty mostly large-format paintings from the years 1956 to 2007, it is one of the most important Penck collections in Europe. The Böckmann Collection comprises outstanding works from a number of the artist’s creative phases—from the early portraits; the standart, system, and world paintings; to the TM pictures and recent work.

The exhibition is being supplemented by artists’ books and disk records from the Karin and Uwe Hollweg and Manfred and Jacqueline Schmidt collections and from the archive of the Research Center for Artists’ Publications at the Weserburg, as well as by a film by Ebba Jahn. Another one of the exhibition’s goals is to describe Penck’s life as an artist between the East and the West by means of selected archive and documentation materials, at the center of which is his collaboration with Jörg Immendorff. As was the case for Immendorff, Penck’s work promoted a sound analysis of the social circumstances in a divided Germany. Based on this existence as a political artist between blocs, twenty years after the Fall of the Wall this exhibition sees itself as a forum for initiating discussion. The high-caliber paintings from the Böckmann Collection are therefore flanked by texts that concentrate on the cultural and sociopolitical situation in a divided Germany.


A catalogue is being published in conjunction with the exhibition which includes numerous illustrations and texts.

Tickets can be bought at the museum as well as in advance at Nordwest Ticket or the Bremen Tourist Center.

guided Tours

Proof of Life / Lebenszeichen
Sunday 21.January, 15.00 Hour 

In Memoriam Karl Gerstner. Ein Rundgang durch die Sammlung
Thursday 25.January, 18.00 Hour 

Proof of Life / Lebenszeichen
Sunday 28.January, 15.00 Hour 



Thursday 25.January, 14:00 Hour
Kinderkulturprojekt 2017/18 von QUARTIER; WAS BILDER ERZÄHLEN ist der Titel des neuen stadtweiten Kinderkulturprojekts von Quartier gGmbH. 30 professionelle Bremer Künstlerinnen und Künstler verschiedener Sparten und rund 600 Kinder, Jugendliche und Erwachsene gestalten das Projekt. Ausgangspunkt ist die aktuelle Hauptausstellung der Weserburg „Proof of Life/Lebenszeichen“. Schirmherr Bürgermeister Carsten Sieling wird bei der Eröffnung anwesend sein Laufzeit: 25.Januar - 18. März 2018


Von der Hintergründigkeit der Bilder 
Thursday 01.February, 18:00 Hour
Künstlergespräch mit Sibylle Springer und Direktor Peter Friese. Vorgestellt wird auch eine neue Edition der Künstlerin mit dem Titel „Toxic Toys“, die an diesem Abend erworben werden kann. In einem anschließenden Ausstellungsrundgang durch die aktuellen Künstlerräume werden weitere Positionen zeitgenössischer Malerei vorgestellt und diskutiert – u.a. Henrik Eiben, Ulrich Erben und Philip Taaffe.


Keep in touch 
Thursday 08.February, 19:00 Hour



A.R. Penck

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