Wir können zufrieden sein

Jörg Immendorff


Painting, 252.5 x 202.5 cm.
Materials: synthetic paint, canvas

Collection: Collectie Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.

In Wir können zufrieden sein Jörg Immendorff goes even further in his use of the DDR coat of arms, which exists of a hammer and a drafting compass surrounded by rye. The hammer represents the workers in the factories and is also part of the communist symbol (the hammer and the sickle). The drafting compass represents the intelligentsia and the wreath of rye stands for the farmers.

The hammer and drafting compass merge into a turret with a canon. The legs of the compass transform into a vise. The mutated symbols form a tower, which is a frequently used element in Immendorff’s work. In this piece the “Brrrd”-eagle fuses to the “Ddrrr”-tower. The eagle signifies West Germany, while the turret signifies East Germany. With a healthy dose of irony and self-criticism Immendorff writes ‘Wir können zufrienden sein’ [We can be content].

On the left-hand side of the painting there are a several paintings which refer to the Café Deutschland series. This series, inspired by Renato Guttuso’s Caffè greco, consists of sixteen large canvases that depict well-known figures from both the arts and politics. The conflicts between East and West Germany are also a recurring theme.

For Immendorff art isn’t an end in itself, it’s mainly a means by which he hopes to achieve social  change.

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