Ground, A. R. Penck
A. R. Penck
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A. R. Penck

Ground, ca. 1975 – 1976

730 x 1020 mm
Physical Description
Watercolour on rough wove paper
Inventory Number
SG 3374
Object Number
SG 3374 Z
Not on display


About the Work

Brightly coloured amorphous elements form a dense network that also integrates jet-black signs and letters whose distinctive forms and dark hue make them stand out prominently. They have a graphic character, but may also possess

symbolic meaning. A. R. Penck, a native

of Dresden, devised a kind of secret code

from simple signs, which he used to represent society and the tensions and social interrelationships at work within it. The artist was under surveillance in East Germany because of his political

attitude and his connections to the Federal Republic, and was forced to go underground. The drawing’s title may be an allusion to that circumstance.

Work Data

Basic Information

Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Watercolour on rough wove paper
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und bezeichnet unten rechts (mit Bleistift): ar. penck 1 GRUND r
Captions Added Later
Verso Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c)
  • Nicht geprüft

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 49D36 circle (~ planimetry, geometry)
  • 49D43 prism ~ stereometry
  • 49D32 line (~ planimetry, geometry)
  • 49D33 triangle (~ planimetry, geometry)
  • 48A9814 ornament ~ combination of straight and curved lines

Research and Discussion


Object History
Kunsthandel Deutschland
verkauft an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1985.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

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