(Blinky) Palermo


    • Male

    About the artist

    1943: Blinky Palermo, nacido Peter Schwarze, alias Peter Heisterkamp was born in Germany
    1973: He moved his workshop to the city of New York
    1977: Died in Malé, aged 33, while on vacation on Kurumba island, Maldives

    Palermo was best known for his spare monochromatic canvases and "fabric paintings" made from simple lengths of colored material cut, stitched and stretched over a frame. He painted on aluminum, steel, wood, paper and Formica, often making lines out of tape instead of paint.

    Under Beuys, he became increasingly interested in the organized spatial relationship between form and colour, a polarity which is manifest throughout the rest of his oeuvre. In the mid 1960s, Palermo moved away from conventional rectangular canvases. For example, Untitled (Totem) (1964) "...is simply a vertical strip of wood, 7 feet by about 2 inches. It is painted orange and punctuated, like a primitive ladder, with five short, horizontal pieces of canvas-wrapped wood, each painted white with a portion of a blue triangle". Between 1964 and 1966, Palermo produced a small series of paintings on canvas in which he experimented with constructivist principles of order.

    Between late 1966 and 1972 he produced a series of circa 65 Stoffbilder (Fabric Paintings), consisting of colored materials of different widths sewn together along horizontal or vertical seams and attached to stretchers. He took the colour and material quality ready-made from department-store fabrics and had them stitched together by others.

    In 1970, he and Gerhard Richter jointly submitted designs for the sports facilities for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. For the front of the aren, they proposed an array of glass windows in twenty-seven different colors; each color would appear fifty times, with the distribution determined randomly.

    Later in his career, Palermo would develop his work in situ for large-scale architectural installations. From 1968 he realized more than twenty murals and wall drawings at various sites in Europe, including Edinburgh and Brussels, and recorded them in preparatory sketches and photographic documentation. (They themselves, however, having been affiliated with their place of installation, are no longer existent.)Most of them involved simple, seemingly insignificant interventions; he often outlined the shapes of some of the walls in a given room or filled them in with a different color, leaving only a border of the original white.A series of “Metallbilder” (Metal Pictures) followed in 1972, a series of acrylic paintings on steel or aluminium. They follow a consistent formula: groupings of, usually, four panels, fairly widely separated, with each panel bearing a single main acrylic color area bracketed by bands of one other color at the top and the bottom.His works bear a surface relationship to Constructivism and Minimalism, but the Modernist sensibility is also undermined by a sophisticated sense of humor and his insistence on the painterly and expressive, as evidenced in his poetic titles.

    After visiting New York with Gerhard Richter in 1970, he moved his practice to New York City in December 1973. Once back in Düsseldorf he produced To the People of New York City (1976), a fifteen-part work comprising thirty-nine aluminum panels painted in variations of cadmium red, cadmium yellow, and black — the colors of the West and East German flags (and now the German one) - ever changing in pattern. It was shown at the Heiner Friedrich Gallery, New York, in 1977, and at its present owner, the Dia Art Foundation, in 1987.


    Source: Palermo Wikipedia Website