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.
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 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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