Michael Werner Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Jörg Immendorff: LIDL Works and Performances from the 60s. Featuring both paintings and objects, the exhibition will provide viewers with an opportunity to see a rarely-exhibited body of early work by one of the most important artists to emerge during the post-war period in Germany.
Jörg Immendorff (1945-2007) began his formal artistic training at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during a time when that city was developing into an international center for contemporary art. In 1964 Immendorff was admitted into the class of Joseph Beuys, then the most important artist working in Germany and a figure of profound influence for an entire generation of German artists. Immendorff's relationship with Beuys marked the beginning of an intensely productive period for the young artist, who was deeply affected by the Beuysian notion that art can and should play a wider role in society. Immendorff initiated groundbreaking work immediately upon his entry into the Beuys class, creating objects and actions which challenged the traditions of fine art and which increasingly came to address the pressing social and political issues of the day.
LIDL Works and Performances from the 60s illuminates Immendorff's formative years by focusing on the works and actions which he called LIDL. This phonetic invention, meant to mimic the sound of a baby’s rattle, was Immendorff's DADA-like contribution to the revolutionary fervor of the 1960s. Immendorff, like many students of the time, was fiercely opposed to the war in Vietnam and he began his LIDL activities as a series of specific actions spurred largely by anti-war sentiment. LIDL Works and Performances from the 60s presents the seminal objects and performative works from Immendorff's most visible LIDL actions. The exhibition also examines Immendorff's application of the LIDL concept to challenge political institutions domestically, as with his formation of an independent “LIDL-Academy” within the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (1968) and the attempted addition of a “LIDL-Room” to the parliamentary in Bonn (1969). These events, and the paintings and objects related to them, are important works in the context of their turbulent time and outline the trajectory of Immendorff’s subsequent work, which henceforth was concerned with the role of the individual in contemporary society and within history at large.
Since the mid-1960s Immendorff exhibited throughout his native Germany. He participated in documenta V in 1972, was included in the Venice Biennial in 1976, and from that time gained further exposure throughout Europe and internationally. Important exhibitions include Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Municipal Museum, The Hague; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, among many others. In 2007 Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf organised a sweeping survey of the artist’s drawings. In 1998 Immendorff was awarded the highly distinguished Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany. Immendorff lived and worked in Düsseldorf and Hamburg until his death in 2007.