Head first and unrestrained, five unprotected stickmen plunge into a diffuse and seemingly limitless space. Rushed brushstrokes applied unsystematically in the background accelerate the speed of their free fall. The figure in the middle is marked with an ‘R’ – it could be the artist’s alter ego. The reduced palette and forms in ‘Untitled’ are typical of Penck’s ‘System Paintings’ of the early 1960s. The bottomless fall in ‘Untitled’ reflects Penck’s precarious situation and that of art in general in what was then East Germany.
Gabriele Quandt-Langenscheidt, the daughter of the German industrialist Harald Quandt and his wife, Inge Bandekow, was awarded her Master of Business Administration at the French business school INSEAD in 1985. As a result of various industrial shareholdings, she is one of the wealthiest women in Germany. She is also the chairwoman of the Harald Quandt Holding, which administers the fortune of the heirs of Harald Quandt. Since 1986 she has been married to the German publisher Florian Langenscheidt, with whom she has two sons. The couple founded 'Children for a Better World', which encourages the involvement of children and young people in volunteer work. Each year, particularly successful initiatives receive awards.
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