Blinky Palermo
The Complete Editions
Ulrich Reininghaus Donation

Jan­uary 18 – May 3, 2020

The Ger­man artist Peter Heis­terkamp (1943–1977), who named him­self af­ter the ma­fio­so Frank "Blinky" Paler­mo, is known for his ob­jects, in­s­tal­la­tions, and above all for the bright col­or fields of his fab­ric and me­t­al pic­tures, which sup­pos­ed­ly di­rect­ly il­lus­trate what they con­cep­tu­al­ly ques­tion: the sen­su­al qual­i­ties of con­tem­po­rary paint­ing. Less well known yet no less clev­er and sti­m­u­lat­ing are works he cre­at­ed in edi­tions: screen prints and off­set prints, litho­graphs, ob­jects, and a tem­plate for paint­ing. Paler­mo made th­ese edi­tions through­out al­most his en­tire ca­reer. They not on­ly re­flect his de­vel­op­ment from the 1960s to his ear­ly death in 1977, but al­so rep­re­sent a de­lib­er­ate ex­pan­sion of his work.

In the medi­um of re­pro­duc­tion, Paler­mo rad­i­cal­ized two fun­da­men­tal ques­tions: doubts about im­age and work, as well as the re­flec­tion on in­dus­trial form and col­or im­ple­ment­ed in art. The ab­s­tract con­tent, the em­ble­m­at­ic na­ture of a con­crete for­m—­Paler­mo’s sub­ject from the very be­gin­n­ing—is even more ap­par­ent in print. At the same time, the edi­tions al­so pre­serve the re­al con­tent of the signs, their ma­te­rial­i­ty: what the artist care­ful­ly con­ceived and of­ten worked on by hand dur­ing the pro­duc­tion pro­cess is re­pro­duced. Paler­mo used the tech­nique of se­rial pro­duc­tion to de­ter­mine the change in sta­tus of art (and this al­so means his own work) in the age of tech­nol­o­gy: show­ing this is the aim of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

Thanks to a do­na­tion from the Cologne col­lec­tor Ul­rich Rein­ing­haus, since 2018 the Mu­se­um Lud­wig has been the on­ly public in­sti­tu­tion to have a com­plete col­lec­tion of Paler­mo’s edi­tions. Now this col­lec­tion will be pre­sent­ed for the first time. In pre­pa­ra­tion for the ex­hi­bi­tion, it un­der­went a scho­lar­ly re­view. The ex­hi­bi­tion ca­t­a­logue doc­u­ments the re­sults: it in­cludes an up­dat­ed ver­sion of the out-of-print ca­t­a­logue rai­son­né Die ge­samte Gra­fik und alle Au­flagenob­jekte 1966 bis 1975, pub­lished in 1983 by the Mu­nich gal­lerist and pub­lish­er Fred Jahn.

Cu­ra­tor: Ju­lia Frie­drich

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