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Ende gut, alles gut (All's Well that Ends Well)
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À propos de l'objet

Jörg Immendorff, Ende gut, alles gut (All's Well that Ends Well)\nSigned, titled and dated 83\nOil on canvas\n282 by 330cm.\n111 by 130in.
GB
GB
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notes

The return to Expressionism in the 1980s was an international phenomenon whose main practitioners dominated artistic thinking throughout that decade. The likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and Francesco Clemente were the superstars of this movement but it is arguably in Germany, the home of the birth of the original Expressionist movement in the early 20th century, that the likes of Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff stretched the form to its most intellectual extreme. Whilst Baselitz wrestled with his ability to jar direct expression by compositionally corrupting the image he was trying to produce, Immendorff sought the most outright political expression. Updating the original theses of Beckmann, Kirchner and co. as they struggled with German identity between the wars, he brought perhaps the most ambitious, grandstand compositions to bear on the most weighty issue that any German could bear during the cold war era - that of a country carved in two and its character and people divided between communism and capitalism.

As a West German, born in Lüneburg in 1945, Immendorff grew up in comfortable surroundings, but it was his first meeting with A.R. Penck in Dresden, in the East, in 1976 which awakened him to the divide which separated his once united country. They immediately set up a collective which aimed to bridge this divide and it was from the highly fruitful collaboration and experience that his most important series, Café Deutschland, grew from 1978 onwards.

For Immendorff, Café Deutschland represented his imaginary meeting point for east and west. A self contained, Bohemian style building this was Germany in isolation away from natural daylight where people from all walks of life met to discuss and argue about their future. It represented the german political life reduced to a soap opera in a dark and dingey bar. Filled with symbolism, each painting represented an episode in itself and over the life of the paintings, the development of the symbols represented the progression or not of the German nation. There is obviously no greater German symbol than the Adler, or eagle, and in Ende Gut, alles gut we find one of the most important paintings of the series.

Executed on a vast scale, we are witness to a mass brawl of eagles. That once powerful symbol of German unity is reduced to a mass of cartoon-like heads battling for their territory. In comparison to an earlier painting, Café Deutschland IV, where there was a quite clear territory drawn in the bar with barbed wire, here the barricade has been lowered and the people have been replaced by these desperate birds paralysed by their claustrophobia. The quite brilliant caricatures of different coloured eagles potentially predicts the future in 1989 and the coming together of two nations which were once united but have been apart for 28 years and are now incompatible.

In the background a battered swastika is being swept aside and some of the ghosts of the past disappear into the ceiling whilst a horse, possibly from the Brandenburg Gate proudly enters the fray resplendent in its bright yellow light. Meanwhile a figure from above perches over the edge of the roof, holding a fragile sheet of ice in the form of Germany over the battling crowd. Is it about to be broken? All of this is painted on such a vast scale and with such expressive devotion that the symphony of colour and gesture somehow adds belief to the proceedings. Despite the desperate plight of these eagles, somehow there seems to be hope - hence the ironic title.

At a time when a bold new movement dedicated to painting is emerging from Leipzig in East Germany and the influence of the old Communist states on the world economy seems to grow, the importance of Immendorff and paintings of this series seems to grow by the day. Ende gut, alles gut is undoubtedly one of the most important works of this series and its appearance represents a timely reminder that art can change the world.

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Jörg Immendorff

dimensions

282 by 330cm. 111 by 130in.

provenance

Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin


*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.

*Merci de noter que le prix n'est pas recalculé à la valeur actuelle, mais se rapporte au prix final réel au moment où l'objet a été vendu.


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