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The Heart by Richard Lindner

Richard Lindner Biography

Richard Lindner

Hamburg, 11 Nov 1901 - New York, 16 April 1978).

German-born American master artist, well known for his quirky POP artworks.

Trained at the Kunstakademie, Munich (1925 to 1927), he worked as an art director at the large publishing house of Knorr & Hirth.

Upon Hitler's ascent to power in 1933, Lindner moved to Paris, where he continued to work in graphic design. In March 1941 he immigrated to New York, where he quickly became a highly successful illustrator for such magazines as Fortune, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

He began painting seriously in 1952, holding his first one-man exhibit in 1954. His style blends a mechanistic cubism with personal images and haunting symbolism.

He used flat areas of rich, sometimes garish, colors separated by hard edges, to present ambiguous perspective. He modeled clothing, faces and body parts.

His favorite subject was bizarre women. Corsets and straps emphasize their sexual qualities. Lindner professed no hatred of women; instead, he said, "I feel sorry for women. When I dress women in these corsets and contraptions in my painting, it's kind of the way I see them wrapping themselves up."

His Ice (1966, Whitney Museum of American Art) established a connection between the metaphysical tradition and pop art. The painting shows harsh, flat geometric shapes framing an erotic but mechanical robot-woman.

Lindner's characters-the women, precocious children and men who could be strangers or voyeurs--often are posed in slice-of-life scenes. But these scenes are obsessive, rather than normal visions.

Though he became a United States citizen in 1948, Lindner considered himself a New Yorker, but not a true American. However, over the course of time, his continental circus women became New York City streetwalkers. New York police uniforms replaced European military uniforms as symbols of authority.

Lindner also taught at the Pratt Institute from 1952 to 1965.

SELECTED MUSEUMS - Tate Gallery, London - Smithsonian - Thyssen - Bornemisza Museum, Madrid - Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC - Walker Art Center, Minnesota - Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

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