A. R. Penck (1939–2017) was professor of painting at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1989 to 2005. Besides being a graphic artist, painter, and sculptor, he also made a name for himself as a jazz musician. He combined analytic and visual thinking in his life and artistic practice, blending philosophy, science, information theory, and technology with traditional and novel strategies of making visual art and with an awareness of social and artistic issues.
During his time as professor, Penck taught around 130 students, who continue to spread his teachings even today. The class’s building located at Luisenstrasse 25, which Penck rented bypassing the Kunstakademie’s official administrative channels, is legendary. Thanks to its geographical and intellectual distance from the art academy, it was intended to serve as a sanctuary where students could spread their wings free from institutional constraints.
This book introduces more than fifty of Penck’s former students in a collection of personal memories, notes, photographs, and artistic works, including many unpublished sketches made by Penck during class and preserved by his disciples until today.