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  • Provenance

    Michael Werner Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    London, Barbican Art Gallery, Immendorff: The Rake’s Progress, June 1 - August 28, 1995

  • Literature

    J. Alison, Immendorff: The Rake’s Progress, Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1996

  • Catalogue Essay

    For over 40 years, Jörg Immendorff was a key figure on the international art scene. Born just weeks after the end of World War II in Europe, Germany's divided identity and his own role in its history played centrally in his oeuvre.

    The painting Sonnentor (Sun Gate) is a microcosm; Immendorff depicts a stage viewed not from the audience, but from the stage itself, giving the viewer insight into the artist's interior struggle. The painter reveals concerns with personal limitations, depicting himself as a figure with a robot-like foot and an arm tied behind his back. Immendorff pays homage to his mentor, the artist Joseph Beuys, portrayed as a mechanical figure, from which a lava-like substance pours into the receptive student. This exchange can be seen as the teacher breathing life into the student, or conversely, burning away Immendorff's very essence. The painting is one of additional contrasts and struggles. Women are made of fire and ice, and whilst the sun illuminates part of the composition, darkness shadows the other. Leaflets of political propaganda are strewn across an arena of furtive figures dominated by a God-like Maoist figure with an imposing iron fist. Sonnentor, rich with chaotic imagery and cartoon-like figures from history, is a highly evocative example of the painter's interest in history and politics. The audience is a vociferous political arena; "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." (G.A. Kubler, The Shape of Things: Remarks on the History of Things, New Haven, 1962)

258

Sonnentor (Sun Gate)

1994
Oil on canvas.
110 1/4 x 110 1/4 in. (280 x 280 cm).

Estimate
£150,000 - 250,000 ≠ †

Sold for £144,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm
London