Richard Lindner

Pop Art Oscillation

Jun 25th – Jun 30th, 2022

Untitled / Zirkus

Untitled / Zirkus, 1960

ball pen, pencil and colored pencil on paper

36,7 x 58,5 cm

(detail)

© Estate of the artist

Opening: June 24,  6–9 pm

Location: LEVY, Alt-Moabit 110, D-10559 Berlin

 

After his early achievements as illustrator RICHARD LINDNER (*1901 Hamburg – †1978 New York, USA) evolves a distinctive visual language that turns him into one of the key pioneers of Pop art. His bold-looking pictorial compositions are characterized by their sharply defined, clearly contoured motivic elements. In a unique way he succeeds in combining the grotesque-caricatural formal elements of New Objectivity with the vividly colored, collagesque flatness of Pop art, thereby oscillating between the cultural worlds of Europe and North America.
 
The exhibition RICHARD LINDNER: POP ART OSCILLATION at LEVY Berlin focuses in the first part on the works on paper of the artist, which can be seen as preliminary studies for his paintings demonstrating how meticulously Lindner builds up his compositions. The selected works reveal how he arranges his motifs with pointed and reduced strokes, emphasizing details and ornamentation with colored accents and assembling surfaces and shapes in a contrasting manner. His marionette- and robot-like figures appear as if they can be mechanically dismantled and re-assembled. The rigor of his composition and the cool use of forms are reminiscent of Cubist-influenced artists such as Fernand Léger and Oscar Schlemmer–role models encouraging Lindner to free himself both from the Abstract Expressionism of North America as well as from the Informel of the European post-war period.

 

At the end of the 1950s, the Pop art movement developed almost simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic and ushering an epochal change in style in art history. Through his visual and formal language, Lindner becomes an essential artist of post-war figuration influencing subsequent generations of Pop artists in America and Europe. The second part of the exhibition gives insight into the broad artistic dialogue across the Atlantic between WERNER BERGES, PETER BLAKE, KP BREHMER, ALLEN JONES & MEL RAMOS. Behind the pictorial world of the intensive colors, striking surfaces and popular narrations, the Pop art works subversively reveal how western culture–in terms of mass media, capitalist consumerism and the metropolitan entertainment industry–also entails a loss of realism and social connectedness.