[1939 - 2017]

The Rational in the Jungle [1966]

  • oil on canvas 147.0×197.0cm

[Audio Guide]

Germany was divided after the Second World War. Penck was then based in East Germany, and his stick figure images attempt to analyze the circumstances of the Cold War that began after this division. Firstly, let us attempt to grasp the manner in which he achieves this. There is a winding line extending from left to right across the middle of the picture surface that is connected to the other shapes. It is likely that the central stick figure was added after this part of the painting was completed. There are additional fine white lines flowing across the whole painting, sometimes in the foreground, at other times they switch to the background. While appearing to use a very simple code, in actuality this work is constructed in a very complex manner. It is impossible to overlook the patchwork quality of the canvas. Now, what are these stick figures doing here?


Collection Audio Guide